Bus Driver Journal – May 2017
I returned to Bus Driver world for the past year in our local public school district. It has been an adventure for sure! And … truly an eye opener.
Sheryl and I have lived and worked in Pascagoula, Mississippi for a cumulative 40-plus years. We married here, left our sleepy-little-town-of-Pascagoula in the early 90s for ministry vocation and business pursuits, and returned in 2004 … just in time for the nightmare that was #Katrina.
So here we are 12 years into Recovery, Rebuild, and Restart. Sheryl has taught in the PGSD since we returned to Pascagoula and I have served several local churches as Worship Pastor or Worship Leader. I currently serve as a ‘Creative Arts Pastor’ — which is code for ‘multi-tasking guy’ or ‘utility guy’. Just put him where he best fits, which is … Lord knows where! For an adult ADHD creative artistic guy who’s brain never stops running … well, you can imagine what my pastor deals with. Oh what crowns HE will receive in heaven! LOL!!
Bus Driving has been a natural skill for me since I was 14-years of age. My little Gospel-singing family band traveled thousands of miles per year in the 70s, up and down the highways and country roads of the Southeastern and Midwestern states. I drove my first church bus when I was 15-yrs old right here in Pascagoula. I drove professionally for the Pascagoula School District when I turned 18-yrs of age. I have driven private coaches and commercial equipment hauling trucks all my adult life.
Much has changed in 40-plus years of bus driving. Mostly for good. Modernized school buses with AC, for one! (( thank ya LAWD )) Million-dollar houses-on-wheels that we call ‘motorhomes’. (( posh, I’m tellin ya! )) It’s a whole new world for bus drivers.
But, it’s a crazy mixed up world for children. And, we the adults in their little worlds have created most of the crazy that their little minds have to deal with and process. God help us.
This year of bus driving has revealed what I have always sensed in my heart was the constant gut-wrenching truth about our hometown(s), and ultimately our nation and our world. Not all children are wanted. Not all are loved. Not all are truly cared for. And, it’s on me. And, it’s on you. It’s on US … to want them, to love them, and to care for them.
No, [we] can’t fix all their family problems. No, [we] can’t rescue them all. No, [we] can’t change the emotional DNA that they might face daily. But, WE CAN … make a difference.
I CAN … smile and say “good morning …”.
I CAN … pray a quick prayer as a drive them to school and home again.
I CAN … wave a friendly wave at mama, daddy, or grandparents, or guardians as I proceed.
I CAN … interact respectfully with their teachers and principals.
I CAN … treat all children with respect and dignity.
I CAN … be firm with gentle but corrective discipline when necessary.
I CAN … calmly explain ‘why’ the child is suspended from bus riding privileges due to misconduct.
I CAN … reinforce ‘best’ behavior with a gentle spirit … the ‘daily grind’ and constant challenge for EVERY school bus driver.
In whatever capacity you find yourself with children in your life.
WE CAN … want them, love them, care for them.
That’s what Jesus did. That’s what I will do.
” … but Jesus said, ‘Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven’ … “. – Matthew 19:14 ESV