Some years ago, a friend and I were on an overnight bus trip to another part of South Africa. We stowed our bags, connected our headphones, and braced ourselves for the long uncomfortable hours ahead. Before the journey began, I remember thinking I wish teleporters existed, and we didn’t have to waste all these hours just to get somewhere. Little did I suspect what was coming.
About halfway through the trip—just after 2 am, the bus broke down, and the driver announced our journey was placed on indefinite “pause.” Mechanics would be arriving, but exactly when was a little hazy, as we were in the middle of nowhere.
Some of us decided to file out and stand outside, stretching our legs and breathing the crisp air. I was extremely frustrated, and even a bit upset, with God for allowing the bus to break down. I paced up and down in the darkness, feeling sorry for myself.
Then I heard the singing, a low melodic rumble welling up from somewhere in the group of passengers. It rose up in a beautiful rhythm, clear and utterly joyous. Then another voice joined in, then another, then a few more. Before long, many of us were singing along, our woeful thoughts unexpectedly carried away by the tunes of camaraderie and a thankful song.
My friend grabbed my arm, “Look up!” she said, pointing to the sky. What a glorious view—stars without number covering the expanse and shining serenely and brightly without competition from city lights, as if to say, It will all work out. As we stood and stared and sang, I regretted my earlier griping and remembered a quote I’d once read: “One man sees the mud, the other sees the stars.” And I realized I didn’t really wish for teleporters after all. I decided to thrive in the moments—both the good and the less good—thankful for what I have and taking time to experience the little joys of life. With the song of salvation in my heart and the twinkles of blessings around me, I can face every day with anticipation.
And yes, the bus was repaired and we continued on in our journey, but more than that, I was changed. On that starry night in the middle of nowhere, I was reminded that my Lord is everywhere.