When I was a kid, I rode the bus home from school, and mine was always among the last stops the bus would make. I still remember those hot summer days, when the sun would beat down as we packed tightly into the bus. My legs would stick to the vinyl seats as beads of sweat ran down my forehead. The bus crowd would buzz with the typical after-school excitement over evening or weekend plans, but with each stop the bus would empty just a little bit more, making room for a cool, welcomed breeze. By the time we’d reach my stop, I could hear only the rumble of the bus engine and the squeak of its brakes. Early the next morning I would hop back on that bus, always one of the first to be picked up. And on the route to school, with each stop, the bus would fill again, the roar of my peers would return again, and the cycle would continue.
John 6:66 At this point many of His disciples turned away and deserted Him. 67 Then Jesus turned to the Twelve and asked, “Are you also going to leave?”
After He had spoken on some controversial subjects, the Bible tell us that many were offended at Jesus and left. So He turns to the 12 and asks, “Do you want to go too?”
I love this passage because we clearly see that Jesus knew what most of us have yet to learn: very few people will remain with you throughout the whole journey—the bus makes stops, and people get off; not everyone will stay along for the whole ride, and they’re not supposed to.
As a leader are you making the mistake of assuming that everyone on your bus is supposed to stay with you throughout the entire journey? We need to accept that not everyone will be there for every stop we make. If someone is leaving your life, it’s because their season in your life is over, and you can’t make someone stay when it’s their time go. Our job is simply to love people, love them as they come, and love them as they go.
Conflict occurs when we try to preserve relationships that were never supposed to continue on the journey with us. Consider that when all those people left Jesus, He wasn’t sad about it. He knew that the few that did stay would be with Him for the entire journey.
I’ll break it down this way: Jesus went from thousands of followers, to 12, to 1 (John) by the time He hung on the cross. If people didn’t stay with Jesus throughout His entire journey, what makes you think that you’re going to keep every person that comes into your life with you?
Ask yourself, “What frustrations in my life are a result of me dragging people that should already be off the bus through my journey of life?” Once you can identify and let go of those frustrations, you’ll be able to just enjoy the ride.
Remember, when people get off the bus, it makes room for more to get on.