He Kicked the Bus Tires *
His father, dressed in his railroad bib overalls, walked around the bus as if looking for a problem and excuse to not let his son leave, he kicked the tires, looked closely at the rear engine compartment as the engine hummed. The bus was idling as passengers slowly boarded. The bus was in good mechanical condition.
The father looked up at his son’s face looking back at him with apprehension. His mother, two brothers and sister stared in disbelieve, her oldest child and their oldest brother was really leaving home. No one seemed to want him to go but he had graduated from high school and needed to move on into adulthood, he couldn’t stay, there were no jobs in his small economically depressed hometown. He wanted to go to college but his parents couldn’t afford to send him and he didn’t know what he wanted to study anyway. The military offered training and adventure, yet he was terrified, he had never ventured more than a few hundred miles from home before and he always had his family to discuss the trials and tribulations of growing up. He was the oldest so he had to show the others the way.
His mother fought back tears, his brothers and sister looked on in dismay. His father had always said, rather emphatically “When you’re 18 out you go, you have to learn to stand on your own two feet”! Some how, his father’s words were hollow and unmeaning that day. As he watched his father checking out the bus, his actions certainly didn’t match that emphatic declaration. As tough as his “dad” was, he knew in his heart his dad loved him. He could see a tear and sadness on his dad’s weathered and worn railroad face but raising four children is no easy task. He did all that he could to set his son on the right course trying to play “tough” but inside his son seemed to know he was a soft and loving father that knew the world was not soft and loving.
As the bus pulled away from the station and slowly turned the corner he looked out and saw his family standing together hanging on each other by his dad’s old jalopy, alone in the parking lot looking forlorn. At that moment he knew his parents really did love him and all the rules his parents had were for a reason.
The Bible in 1 Corinthians 13: 8 says, “Love never fails.” 1 Corinthians 13:11 sums up leaving home well, “When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me.” Leaving home and facing the adventure of life is easier when we know our Lord Jesus Christ is by our side.
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