By Joe Mazzella
When I was a boy I had the craziest bus ride to school every day. First, I had to get up early, wolf down my breakfast, and walk across the rickety, wooden, swinging bridge that spanned the river between our house and the main road. Then I stood and waited for the bus to arrive. When it got there I climbed in. I was always one of the first ones on the bus. Then even though the bus was only 4 miles from school I started a ride that lasted over 45 minutes.
First the bus went in the opposite direction for 6 miles, parked and waited for another bus to transfer kids onto it. Then it started back but instead of going straight to my school it started up a long, winding, one lane mountain road pausing at every house to pick up more kids. The road swirled around the mountain and back down the other side with the bus getting fuller, louder, and rowdier with each stop. Finally, it arrived at the high school to drop off the older kids before heading on to my grade school. But even then it didn’t go straight there but instead headed down another rocky, dirt road full of potholes to pick up even more children. I usually got to the school stressed, tired, and just before the first class bell rang.
Thankfully, the ride home was different. During it the last kids picked up became the first kids dropped off and since my house was along the way I got dropped off after just 10 minutes or so. I remember I would literally run across that rickety, old bridge because I was so happy to be home again.
Looking back now I can see my whole life here has been one, long, crazy, bus ride. It has been full of stops, starts, twists, turns and lots of passengers some mean but most kind. Sometimes the scenery has been beautiful and sometimes not so much. Sometimes the road has been smooth and sometimes rocky. Through it all, though, I have taken comfort in knowing that one day I will be going Home again. I will be so happy to be there too. I will run into the arms of those who went before me, rejoice in the love I have shared, dance in the light, and be welcomed Home with our Heavenly Father’s smile.
Do your best to enjoy the ride this life gives you. Take the trip with love in your heart and kindness in your soul. Make the journey better for those you meet along the way. And then when your time here is done you can get off the bus, walk into the light, and find yourself so happy to be HOME again!