Come up here!
Dave Hood, England

Fairly recently the Lord, as he does with many of us, gave me some understanding, which is designed to HELP US ALL MOVE ON.

I was given a picture of a single decked bus. The view I had of it was from outside it and from behind. What I could see in the rear window of this bus was a shape of a small child, who was looking out the window, back towards my viewpoint. He had a sad and forlorn look upon his face.

I was then whisked inside the bus and found myself sitting along side this young boy, whilst he looked out this window. I saw that he could not see much as the window was quite grimy and dirty, from the muck and dust thrown up during the bus’s travels. Still, he looked sad and I wondered why. As I looked out the same window, I saw vaguely a long row of cars queuing up behind the bus, almost as if the bus was going too slow for them. But I also began to realize that this queue of cars, the boy’s sad face and the dirty window were related.

The bus and the queue of cars represented the residue of failings and feelings of the young boys past. He did not feel secure where he was, because of the queue of his thoughts regarding the past, which was seemingly ever present before him and stretching, tailing back a way.

The young boy saw his past, through the dirt of his circumstances…and because the boy could not actually clean the outside of the window because the bus had not stopped…he felt trapped in the bus and it almost seemed if the bus was tied to the cars and was, pulling him back. It was not that it was the speed that bothered him most, but that his past was still there. Our past can be quite recent, something that happened today, or the past year or even longer, all conspire to glue our eyes to the dirt of the screen, rather than see the past for what it really is and be dragged down and dragged back by it.

It came to me that even if the bus had stopped and the boy had run out to try to rub away the dirt on the back screen…I realized that he could not have done it…the level of the window was taller and higher than his hands reach. The fact that he did not have a ladder or a step up, or implements to clean the window with, or the fact the bus had not stopped, indicated that his attempts and conclusions of his efforts…were beyond his scope…such is it with us…the past is not something we change…but rather allow God to change. The truth is that when we come to Him, we enter the change wrought by Jesus at Calvary for us, which is the only way.

There is no need to, nor are we able to clean the window itself. On the cross Jesus cleaned it, to enable us to see our past, EVEN in the PRESENT, in HIS light and not the WORLDS light. Listen…Jesus is the road map for peace…The bond, with its requirements, which was in force against us and was hostile to us; He cancelled, and cleared it out of the way, nailing it to His Cross. ( Col.2:14) He came to MAKE PEACE, through the shedding of His blood upon the cross.

Not only has He cleared our window but also, cleared OUT OF THE WAY…that which was HOSTILE to us…it is THIS, the impatience present in unforgiveness and seems to create such hostility in some people, the projected, real and imagined hostility towards us that always seems to signify the world displeasure to us, even when and especially as God shows his kindness in his righteousness to us. This I believe represents ALL the people and places, circumstances and situations we have been and found ourselves in…figured and identified BY THE CRAWLING LINE OF CARS. Some never seem to resolve themselves, but apart from where it is possible to remain at peace with all, looking BACK is not the answer…Jesus did not just die on the cross and remain there…but ALSO, rose from the dead AND…ASCENDED into heaven, where He is now seated at the right hand side of the Father, having OBTAINED FORGIVENESS for our sins.. we are now seated there with Him in the same place of forgiveness.

Our future is not in the past, our history is, and our history and working is not just in the present but also in the future itself. The journey does not stop because of a traffic jam, whether we feel hedged in from behind or hedged in from the front…this is not what determines our future or our present.

As I sat and pondered with the boy these things, I heard a voice say…”come up here”. I don’t know about you but whenever I have heard or read that, I more often than not related it to…going UP somewhere, looking upward. That day, after a bit of wondering it came to me that…it was the voice of someone from near the front of the bus who was calling to us. I looked and could see no one else sitting in any of the seats. It then occurred to me it could be the driver, who was partially hidden from us by a partition that separated us from a vision of him and his steering wheel. So up I went. Up to the FRONT of the BUS.

Please bear in mind that I am from the UK and we drive on the left side of the road, therefore our driving position is on the right of our vehicle and not, as it is with many, the left. Also, I think it worth mentioning, that directly adjacent to the drivers position, is a single, drop down seat. This is situated near the stairwell, attached to which is the entry door of the bus. In our country it is designed for use by a co driver, who sits alongside his colleague…and…when drivers hours dictate, is present to change seat with the driver, to alleviate tiredness and to share the duties of the whole journey. To relieve when needed. The place is the place of the co driver…remember…and if children, then heirs too--heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ; if indeed we are sharers in Christ's sufferings, in order that we may also be sharers in His glory.  (Rom. 8:17) We then, as co-workers with him, beseech you also that ye receive not the grace of God in vain. (2 Cor.6:1)

Incidentally, the co driver is the FIRST person who sees and welcomes the people outside the bus on as passengers.

As I stood near this seat, it became apparent that the driver did more than just drive the bus. As I looked at the array of instruments, dials, needles and lights on the control consol. I realised that from the position of his cab, he accessed FOR the PASSENGERS a lot more.

·I saw that above each seat there was a manual control for the distribution of light and cool air, for the benefit of the passengers comfort. This the driver operated as a whole from the front of the cab.
·Also there were main lights throughout the length of the bus, which again were controlled from the driver’s cabin. These enabled people to sleep, see or read, depending on where they were on any particular part of the journey.
·One must not forget the obvious. It is the driver who determines how fast or slow the bus goes, or indeed if it stops at all.
·Most coaches now have either a video player or a DVD with a television that enables watchers to see events that have been pre recorded according to the journeys time scale.
·Attached to the bus and again controlled and adjusted from within the cab are the wing mirrors, enabling him to see what’s behind and whether or not there is a possibility of the bus being hemmed in or obstructed in any way.
·As many safety features now prevail in modern transport, there is inevitably the presence of a first aid kit, which no doubt can be administered in times of need.
·As we all learn as well, the need to operate well should the case of fire ensue, with the extinguisher and blanket and any ceiling controls being operated by and administered in the hands of a trained driver. Along with the series of visual and audible alarms that point out the danger of the moment.
·A simple device like a clock, with a face that can be clearly seen to tell the time with, is present, it usually being placed at the front of the bus, near the drivers compartment.
·A microphone, with which to amplify appropriate messages and to help travellers realise where they are or what is to happen at any part of the journey.
·Sick bags and rubbish bags are provided as well as emptied and replaced by him, in order to help relieve certain discomforts which are inevitably part and parcel of many a long haul. Even the seating is designed for helping one another seated two by two each side of the aisle.
·The driver also has a lock up. A secure place where valuable items and documents can be held safe and secure…one must remember…he has the map, his is the journey, the exact details are known to him…but know this our journey and destiny is secure with Him.

His is the only road map for peace, for you, for your family and for the world; apart from Him we can do nothing. But we can trust Him to be aware of any and all diversions, both personal and corporate. He can handle them and get us back on track, for he is never sidelined in what it is he has ALREADY planned and purposed TO DO. It becomes ever more obvious how involved he is with us in every detail of our life and often we are blissfully unaware of his nudges and nuances of His Spirit, so much is it that He undertakes for us for our benefit and glory.

But consider, is one only on the bus to be a passenger and arrive at the destination. No it is not…forgetting what is behind we persevere and go forward to obtain the prize. Not just the prize, the free gift of eternal life, but also the crown that is given, for His work in our lives.

I believe that many of the tasks that he as a driver does, he calls us to share in, not all is glamorous, not all is seemingly necessary. But he knows and He knows best. So as a co worker, a co heir there are duties we would do well to look at. Many of them will be within the list of operations written of above. There no doubt are many more. Perhaps he is just waiting for us to stop looking back, glued to the road like a dead bird, continually run over until some scavenger leaps out, to take it all away…to hear Him say…come up here…to the front…and between Him, to determine what it is and how you are to help, assist and share in his duties and tasks…

…perhaps in response to this writing…you would like to help determine what you think some of those duties would be, in relation to the journey of others and your work and destiny…perhaps in response…you may like to share them and talk about them here…but perhaps you may not…but whatever you decide I hope that…you don’t look back…look forward.

And how does He help us look forward…well once up the front, the view is much less restricted. As I look I see a vista of glass, a wrap around windscreen and the ability to see what is going on around me, to my right and my left, in front of me and in some cases even above me. You see…IT IS EASIER to see what’s going on when you are up at the front…Jesus calls you not just to service, but to VISION and the ability to see well and clearly and understand far better the co working of His Spirit. Upwards is not just upward…it is also ONWARD…and FORWARD…all aboard!!!

Dave Hood (UK)
January 2006.