Don’t Push the Bus

Whenever you see this

or this









you know there’s trouble.

When I see it, I’m inclined to stop and see if I can help. Unless it’s a diesel. I’m clueless about diesels. Even then I might, if they’re out in the middle of nowhere and I can give someone a ride into town, maybe help find a mechanic.

Sometimes, when it looks like the dilemma is of their own doing, I’m less inclined to lend a hand. Other times I just watch, wonder, and shake my head.

Is there gas in the bus?
Air in the tires?
Does the engine run?


Then GET IN, Everybody!
Let the bus take you there.
Don’t work so hard.
Relax and enjoy the scenery.
Get to know these people you’re traveling with.
Trust the driver.

It’s what busses are for!




You don’t have to push the bus!




We push the bus a lot in the church today.

“Let’s go here!”

“Here’s how, here’s when, here’s why.”

“Hurry! Hurry! Hurry! We’ve a schedule to keep!”

“More people! More people! C’mon all-ya’ll, PUSSSH!”

(I’ve learned from a friend down South that All-ya’ll is plural, ya’ll is singular)


God says…

“There’s plenty of gas in the tank, children, I supply the power.

I take good care of my church. The gates of Hell won’t prevail against it, remember?

I’ll drive. You don’t have to.

I’ve never been lost in my life – and that’s like forever.

You don’t have

to push

the bus.

Get in.”

So we start climbing on board, most of us reluctantly, some eagerly, some with obvious skepticism.
I looked up above the windshield when I realized it was time I get with the program. I was surprised by what it says overhead.


It says — P R A Y E R .

7 Replies to “Don’t Push the Bus”

  1. Phil

    You’re welcome, Marie.

    (I hope my editing and placing pictures didn’t confuse you while you were reading! I’m not very good at photo-journalism on here 😀 )

    I hope these words will cause many to think –
    quit pushing –
    and let God provide.


  2. Jonell


    I’m glad this wasn’t a picture of us when I joined your youth group for the trip from Nebraska to Wisconsin for the IFCA youth convention. 🙂

    Because of a certain unknown in our lives right now, I’ve been on the “prayer bus” a lot more lately. I’ve found a peace in trusting and letting God drive. It’s the idea of trusting minute by minute that is so hard.


  3. annkroeker

    What a great point–we (Christians in ministry) are tempted to push so hard to make things happen. Do you think it tends to be an American phenomenon, that we need to produce in tangible, measurable ways, and so we’d better get busy? Or do all human beings feel the urge to push things along and not turn to the Lord in prayer and watch Him get things in motion?

    You’ve provoked my thoughts.

  4. rindy

    Great words for me to read this morning…I am impatient wanting to do all that God is calling me to do… Yet, if I do what I’m supposed to and let Him drive, the doors are opening…you would think I would learn 😉

  5. Phil

    Jonell – We’re praying at our house for God’s clear direction and continued peace of mind that’s beyond understanding. Lean back hard on Him; He’s up to it.

    Rindy – good to see you again, we all get impatient from time to time. Aren’t you glad He’s an understanding God and smiles at us in the mirror “We’ll get there, don’t worry” ?


  6. Phil

    Ann, I’ve thought alot about those same questions.
    Do you know how rare it is for someone to ask me straight-out “Do you think….?”
    (Hold this at arms length. Like opening a bottle of Dr. Pepper that’s been sitting in the afternoon sun, this could fizz over!)

    I think there’s an inherently human element within us all that wants to do it. We tell our parents when we’re little and God when we’re older, “I do it my lone!” Hopefully as we mature, and remember our failures from going it alone and our perennial short-comings we’re less and less inclined to rely on self-sufficiency and more on God’s unfailing power, wisdom and ability.

    But I also think we in America are especially prone to this phenomenon. Chuck Colson was on the mark when he said in _Loving God_ :

    The church has been brought into the same value system as the world: fame, success, materialism and celebrity. We watch the leading churches and the leading Christians for our cues. We want to emulate the best known preachers with the biggest sanctuaries and the grandest edifices. Preoccupation with these values has perverted the church’s message.

    When we measure ministry success in comparative terms we change nearly all of God’s ministry’s success paradigms. When we want, want, want we eventually come to the place where we’re willing to “do whatever” to get what we want (Js. 4.1-3). Thinking that way establishes a market for people to sell their church-related wares to market-driven congregations who want the latest man has to say instead of checking in with God (aka prayer) to see what he wants done in their home-towns. Many rise to the occasion, their own matierialism having convinced them “this is of God – go for it.”

    When we have people (as we do today) selling their formula for what was really God’s blessing on their lives and ministry, our wheels are out of balance.
    When pastors look to books and seminars for direction and purpose in life and ministry, rather than to God, (or more than to God anyway) we’re bound to grind some gears. God knows our congregations better than anyone, even better than the author who’s trying to sell his latest release or tickets to his next seminar in your hometown. When we church leaders forget that we head for the Mortal Reasoning Mall to shop for success. Meanwhile God, being the Gentleman that He is, sits in His bus and waits for us to come to the realization He has the answers we’re looking for — and has all along.

    Generally speaking, we’ve become a prayerless church here in the states; that is, unless prayer is part of our formula for man-defined success. Too many of us pray so we’ll be successful instead of because we’re in love with God. Or simply because He said to and we want to obey.
    My attitude’s showing, isn’t it? I better stop. 😀
    Phil —

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