I was on a local bus yesterday, heading into Niagara Falls.
After the driver had stopped to pick up some passengers and was pulling away from the curb, four young women (college students, I think) came running towards the bus, waving their arms and yelling for the driver to stop. The driver shook his head, stepped on the gas, and merged into traffic.
The last I saw of the women, they were standing at the stop, shaking their heads in frustration and staring at their phones.
It reminded me of Jesus’ parable of the wise and foolish virgins.
I think it goes something like this:
The wise virgins arrive at the bus stop five minutes ahead of the scheduled departure time. They have their bus fare ready to present to the driver. They wait patiently at the stop, alert and watching for the bus. When it arrives, they board quickly and pay their fare. The bus driver shuts the door and pulls away from the stop. The wise virgins take their seat and head calmly for their destination.
The foolish virgins don’t actually know what time the bus is supposed to arrive because they haven’t checked the schedule. They just hope that it will come soon. They don’t have a bus pass or a ticket or a token; they do have a large bill, but they don’t want to use the whole thing for the bus fare. They’re hoping that someone on board will give them change, since the driver doesn’t give change anymore. They’re also not exactly sure which bus they should be getting or where they’re supposed to get off; they could have checked these details in the Rider’s Guide, but they were too busy texting. They figure they’ll just ask the driver for the information when they get on board.
As the foolish virgins are slowly making their way to the bus stop, texting as they walk, a bus pulls up. They see it out of the corner of their eye and start running towards it, waving their phones in the air and shouting for the driver to stop. But the driver has already pulled away from the curb and merged with traffic, leaving them behind.
Furiously, they start tapping on their phones to find out when the next bus will arrive.
But there are no more buses.
That was the last one.
I think that’s how Jesus told the parable. It was something like that, anyway.
It came to me yesterday when I saw the four young women missing the bus.
I felt sorry for them, but I also understood why the bus driver couldn’t stop.
Some day, that bus will come for us.
We dare not miss it.