Whose Bus is It?

“Salvation is nearer than you think . . . “ – Romans 13:11

So when you are on the bus, you want it to go fast. When you are off the bus, you want it to slow down to pick you up. Very few of us are able to be free of our perch or our point of view. Salvation is spaciousness: the capacity to think about the people who are on the bus you are missing as well as those who are trying to catch the one on which you sit.

Salvation is nearer than we think – because it is in the way we think. Salvation is being able to think outside our box and off our bus. I came to life during the age of Ken Kesey and his merry pranksters. “The Electric Kool Aid Acid Test” was one of my favorite books. Kesey said there: “You are either on the bus or off the bus.” Again, with all due apologies to those outside my demographic, we laughed frequently at that nugget. What Kesey meant was that there is no place outside the system. We are all in the system.

There is no place outside the system. There is very little place – for me – outside of my perch. There is very little place – for you – outside your perch. And there is no place, for any of us, outside the system. Salvation is finding our place in the system and looking around at how many of us are inside it. The bus is not just running for my convenience. Salvation is as near as a spacious perch, a yell at the driver to hold the door for the person who is running through the slush to jump on the bus.

To see more than ourselves, we pray. Amen.

ddauthordonnaschaper.jpgAbout the Author
Donna Schaper is Senior Minister at Judson Memorial Church in New York City. Her latest book is Prayers for People Who Say They Can’t Pray.