Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Who is Driving the Bus?

This is a throwback from when I was writing on another blog site before I switched to blogger.  I thought it deserved a replay. 



When I was in high school some friends of mine lead one of the local Catholic Church communion education courses for some of the younger kids.  While this in itself wasn’t significant to my youth, one of the lessons they taught has always stuck with me - 

Who is driving the bus? 

At the time, I thought it was the most ridiculous title for a lesson plan.  I was in my atheist phase at the time, although now I realize I was really just agnostic - more on that some other time.  Because of how I felt on religious matters, the silliness of the title stuck with me.  The image of a happy Jesus bouncing around at the front of a yellow bus, with all of us in the back, seemed down-right dumb.  

Now, looking back, the funny thing is that it has stuck with me after all these years.  The little kids my friends taught might not have learned the lesson, but it doesn’t really matter to me, because I did.  Try as I did to make fun, the title stuck in my brain like the ugly face my mom warned would stick if I made it too often.

I can't see the driver, can you?
From my perspective today, the lesson of who is driving the bus is an important one.  While I don’t gravitate towards the Catholic perspective, I feel the lesson applies to life no matter the religious temperament.  In fact, I am certain my atheist friends can benefit from looking to see who is in the driver’s seat, as the answer dictates the course your life is taking.

Essentially there are only two answers to who is driving the bus - you, or God (atheists, don’t quit reading yet, I am not being exclusionary - replace the word God with secular humanism every time you see it).  While it may seem like you driving the bus would be a positive thing - you have taken control of your life, choosing your own directions, heading towards your goals - anytime you are in control, ego is driving.  While your choices certainly may seem pure, they are designed to produce the most benefit for you.  This is the worldly answer - I am driving the bus.  The bus, and you, exist only for yourself.

If he is sitting here, who is driving the bus?
The alternative answer - letting God (secular humanism) - drive the bus motivates us to make decisions that affect those around us positively.  Ego is left behind, replaced with the desire to benefit others.  We choose to serve others instead of serving ourselves.  

While I never sat in the lesson my friends taught, I am certain this is the message those young kids would have heard.  No matter the language or name, as long as the person driving the bus is a manifestation of love for others, your path is sure and true.

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