Several years ago I found myself in Israel on a bus filled with tourists. We visited many of the holy places but the one place that stands out in my memory was our trip to Mount Tabor. I was really excited about getting to the top of that mountain, seeing the view from the top, wondering how Jesus, Peter, James and John ever managed to walk to the top, and all that. However, when we arrived at the base of Mount Tabor, we were told that we had to get off the bus. Get off the bus? We certainly were not able to walk to the top. But, we were told that the road to the top of the mountain was very much curved: hair pin curves that the bus could not maneuver. So, several taxis had been scheduled to meet us at the base of the mountain. These smaller vehicles could take us to the top of the mountain.
The special reflection which has become mine ever since and which I want to share with you now is this: some blessings are only possible if we are willing to get off the bus! Sometimes God is waiting for us to change our ways, to get off whatever bus has become our style so that we will fit into a spiritual or human vehicle that will transport us into a newer and more beautiful presence of God. Getting off the bus may require leaving one very wonderful ministry for a different one. It may mean relocating to a place where we have never been and/or to a people whose ways are different from ours. It may mean letting go of the nearness of a special friend who is called to stay behind as we are called to go. Getting off the bus can mean many things. For Peter, James, and John, it meant accepting the invitation from Jesus to walk with him to the top of the mountain. They had no idea what would be the outcome of their transfiguration date with Jesus. Most of us have no idea what our journeys will be like, but I encourage you to be attentive to God’s voice and get off the bus when it’s time!