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Thursday, May 6, 2010

How Far Will Buddy Go?

While waiting to get on my 5:15pm commuter bus, I watch my driver Buddy help a blind man off the bus.  The man is either new to riding the bus, or maybe even new to his blindness.  He didn’t have the ease and dexterity I see in some people as they navigate obstacles with their red tipped canes.  

Buddy helps the man off the bus, and now keeps going.  With the man’s arm around his, he walks ten yards up to the busy crosswalk.  Is he actually going to walk him across the street?  How long will he leave his $350,000 bus unattended?  How far will Buddy go?

Buddy is hands down the best bus driver I have seen.  I take the bus into work about two times a week, and each time I appreciate the way he does his job.  He has the basics covered—safe driver, gets people boarded efficiently, shows up on time, gives us all the information he has if there is a problem.  It is the “above and beyond” part that I really appreciate.  He greets many of his customers by name as they get on. On Fridays he hands out free mints to celebrate the upcoming weekend.  Occasionally he will turn on the microphone to tell a joke.  Whether or not he would use these words, it is clear that Buddy sees his work as a ministry and service to others.  

How far will Buddy go with the blind man?  How far do any of us go when we are doing the work we are called to do?  There always comes a point—sometimes sooner, sometimes later—when one part of our call comes into conflict with another call we have.  Buddy was helping a blind man who could have used help getting across the street.  But he also had customers waiting to get on, and a $350,000 bus he was responsible for.  

The other evening I sat with a committee I have been on for a few years.  Our group runs a children’s program my kids are involved in.  I care about the program, both for my kids benefit and others. That night we were talking about all the slots we needed to fill and the things that needed to get done.  I looked at my calendar and the other commitments I had made, and I wondered, “How far will Doug go?” What will be the impact on other aspects of my life if I say "yes" to some of these needs? 

There is no template or formula to answer this question. As one Lumunos writer said, our lives are a little more like beef stew than a neatly compartmentalized TV dinner.  (Full story)  The pieces of our lives are usually intermingling in a messy way, with no clear borders.   We make our decisions with fear and trembling.  And then we make them again.  

Buddy left the man at the street corner, and warmly greeted us as we boarded the bus. 

Doug Wysockey-Johnson
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  1. Life is more like a crazy patchwork quilt and somehow all the pieces fit together in the end. Thanks for the message and how you see call in everyday life.

  2. Tiffany Montavon:
    WOW way to leave us hanging! WHAT DID BUDDY DO????

  3. You need to read the last line....

  4. Please affirm Buddy's graceful acts of kindness directly to Buddy ... we all need to know in big and small ways that we are servants of God. And both the "thankee" and the "thanker" will grow in His grace!

  5. I will be sure to give him a link to "his" blog.