Monday, March 4, 2013

Searching for the Jesus Bar

Every car we own has a Jesus Bar.  You know, it's that bar that's installed above all of the doors except for the drivers door (both of his hands should be on the wheel at ALL times).
A passenger can grab this bar at any moment during the drive. 
Usually when the passenger grabs this bar, she will also call out either silently in her heart or with great passion in her voice to the creator of the Universe. Typically this happens at nearly the same moment the driver of the vehicle creates the impression that this is the time when she (the passenger) and Jesus may in fact meet face to face. 
I'm not sure what the car manufacturer calls this bar, but in my house it is the Jesus bar.

  1.  Buses do not have Jesus bars, or seat belts.
  2.  In some places speed limits, stop signs, traffic lights and traffic lanes are only friendly suggestions and not actually guidelines or rules.
  3.  A horn can mean many things. It can mean "I am coming around this corner very fast in your lane" or "yes you can get in front of me" or "I see you and I will slow down". It can also mean "You are not a smart driver" or "I am bigger and I am not stopping so you should get out of my way right now."
  4.  Guatemala is one of these places.

The 200 mile road trip to Fray (said Fry) was amazing.  It was 10 1/2 hours in a school bus...thru the mountains and the jungles. Mostly paved, almost always one lane in each direction. It was curvy up and curvy down. Lots of blind turns. Lots of speed bumps - with only a few which were marked. Our bus driver, Carlos is the best driver and the bravest man I have ever met. He spoke no English. I speak no Spanish. We came to a mutual understanding early on that it would be better for me to face backwards in my seat, chit chat with my travel buddies and NOT under ANY circumstances look out the front windshield.  You see, I believe that people should not pass other vehicles on a mountain with deep drop offs while going around a large blind curve.  I believe that no passing actually means, take a deep breath and stay behind the slow guy in front of you.  I believe that a road that is not more than 20 feet wide can only safely fit 2 cars (one in each direction) and not 3. And don't even get me started on the taxi's and the motorcycles :-) Traffic was crazy of course - our biggest delay was a cattle herd. We didn't bother those cows at all.

There where times when I could only really do three things. Breath Deep. Bow my head. Pray. The lesson I learned on the first day of travel would be practiced over and over in the 9 days to come. So it was a blessing that me and God got this straight from the start. I would say to God "I am not comfortable with this" and God would say ITS OK.  I would say "This is making me stretch" and God would say ITS OK. I would say "I have never seen this before, I am overwhelmed" and God would say ITS OK.  I would say "I am scared, do you have this?" and God would say YEP, I GOT THIS AND ITS OK. 

And Psalms 91:1 would float to my mind.
He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
 I will say of the Lord, "He is my refuge and my God, in whom I trust."

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