April 2022 PAstors Blog
For the past six years I have walked my kids to the bus stop. We have gone through more than a few bus drivers and I couldn’t tell you how many kids have now grown to walk or even drive to school now. It used to be that a group of parents would gather to watch our kids get on the bus. Many times a certain family would bring their dog and all of the kids on the bus would ooo and aww over it.
Ever since the transportation department changed the official bus stops it has been just the Carnes family at our stop. Soon enough all of our kids will be walking (or driving!) to school rather than taking the bus.
One thing has remained constant though. I have made it my habit, whenever I am at the bus stop, to wave as the bus drives away. It began by simply waving goodbye to my kids. However, the windows are dark and sometimes it was hard to tell where my children were sitting, so I figured I’d wave to everybody.
For six years, nobody waved back.
This year, after many months of school, after COVID is finally easing up, after masks have been removed, after winter is receding, a kid two-thirds of the way in the back waved at me. In financial terms this could be seen as a poor performing investment. All of that hand waving has finally resulted in a meager return. In relational terms, this is simply the cost of knowing and being known.
It is daily trickle investing that transformed strangers into individuals who wave to each other each morning. Layer upon layer of consistency and trust has developed into interaction. While not quite a meaningful relationship, I bet if I don’t show up next week, that kid will notice.
The irony of it is that rarely do big relational things pay off at much as the daily little stuff. It is the consistency that breeds trust and value. Which is more valuable? The parent who showed up once to a birthday party with the coolest present ever? Or the parent to raised you, put up with your hell, rejoiced in your victories and comforted you in your pain and was there every day?
In this Paschal Season (i.e. Easter) we might be tempted to devalue Jesus’ death and resurrection because it is a big thing, but still only one thing. It’s the snarky response, ‘But what have you done for me lately?’. As much as we value the big thing, it is easy to disregard it for the rest of the year. Just like that amazing birthday present, the daily little stuff piles up and confronts us with a more solid reality of trust, or in most cases, dependency. Even if Jesus’ big thing is the most amazing thing, it can be quickly swallowed up with whatever we fill the rest of our lives with.
Our children’s schedules. Our vacation plans. Our work. Our home. Our hobbies. Our charities. Our volunteer work. We can fill every moment of the day chock full of anything other than Jesus and the realities of Jesus’ love, sacrifice, and calling can dim quickly.
Its like we have been riding the school bus for years, never noticing the guy at the bus stop who has been waving to you all along. Maybe you have even seen him smiling at you, but you haven’t taken the time to respond. You were barely awake. You have a lot on your mind. There was good song on the radio. You had homework to finish.
Jesus has died, Jesus has risen and Jesus will come again. Jesus is also alive right now. Following Him, he lives in us through the Holy Spirit because of the big stuff. The way that we come to know this more clearly is through the daily little stuff. The daily little stuff like prayer and worship–Christian fellowship and accountability–sharing our Jesus stories with others.
It is the daily little stuff that may seem costly, but will produce the best fruit.
Revelation 3:20 “Listen! I am standing at the door, knocking; if you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in to you and eat with you, and you with me.”