“The buses should be running today” our Columbian friend David said with confidence.
We catch a ride with him into Guadalajara for our Spanish classes every day. On this particular day, Guadalajara was celebrating Dia de la Virgen. Every year, there is a big “parade” stretching from Guadalajara to Zapopan for the transferring of the Patrona of Zapopan from one Cathedral to another.
After our Spanish class, we went to catch our first of two buses that we take home. I was relieved when the 371 Bus came into sight still having a sense that it could be difficult to get home. As we approached our destination, our second bus stop, we saw a large problem. The whole street was blocked for the parade.
We exited the bus and tried to figure out what to do. There were masses of people going in both directions. We decided to walk a little farther down the road and catch the bus there, but the farther we went, the more we realized, the bus wasn’t coming any time soon.
We stopped into Walmart and asked the clerk about the buses. He said they weren’t running until 6-7pm. This wasn’t good news. A taxi would be too expensive because we only had 40 pesos on me. I tried calling our contacts but our phone decided not to work and was about to die because of a low battery. Sweat dripped down my face in the blazing midday heat.
I heard a whisper, “Do you trust me?”
“What are you doing Lord?” I thought as we continued to walk…and walk…and walk about 4 miles in the blazing heat of Guadalajara. I heard a whisper, “Do you trust me?”
We started to make the best of our time and take in the vendors and masses of people. Mexico knows how to have a fiesta! They had little stands of fresh fruit, juices, knockoff brand name clothing, and trinkets for sale. Families all over were taking siestas all over. There wasn’t a spare inch of room in the shade!
We were relieved when we saw the arches that are the entryway into the Zapopan downtown area. We still had no idea how we were getting home. Zapopan is about a 15 minute drive away from our home on the outskirts. Again, I heard the whisper, “Trust me and enjoy what is before you”
I realized the Lord working on my heart in this moment. When a plan isn’t in site, I am easily hit with stress and fear. I need to be in control. When I am not, it brings up these other emotions and reveals mistrust of my Heavenly Father in my heart. As I thought about the events of the day, I realized that the Spirit of God wanted to teach us something important. It was a perfect storm of losing control of all our comfort. We didn’t have any of our normal ways of control available: money (40 pesos=$3.50), cellphone (not working, battery almost dead), transportation (no buses), language, culture, and location.
What do you do when you don’t know what to do? PRAY.
What do you do when you don’t know what to do? PRAY. Camille and I just said a short prayer something to the likes of, “Lord, lead us and help us get home and show us what you are doing here, amen.” We decided to try some of the new foods that were being sold on little bicycle stands. We chatted with the owners as we tried samples of Agave plant and some sort of coconut sugar creation.
We arrived at the Cathedral in Zapopan and the festivities in front of it which included a boy with a whip, a traditional mayan harvest dance, halloween masked people scarring and entertaining kids and a shockingly long line of faithfuls (maybe a mile long or more) waiting to see the Virgen and get a blessing from her.
As we were taking this all in, Camille said she’d love to try some Hielo (delicious mexican ice cream). I thought this was a great cure for the heat of the day. We found a corner shop and picked our flavors. We sat down on a stoop and enjoyed it. Just then, a line of buses started flowing past us.
“What if one of these is our?” Camille said with hope.
I was doubtful, but almost as soon as she said it, our 633 Bus rolled by and turned in front of our eyes. We sprang to our feet and caught our bus! As we breathed a sigh of relief, I realized that if Camille hadn’t had that craving for ice cream and we hadn’t stopped to eat it on that exact stoop, we would have never seen our bus.
I couldn’t help but see the Father’s fingerprint
I couldn’t help but see the Father’s fingerprint as I think about the crazy coincidence of timing. Just a little lesson in trust he decided to throw at us as we were getting comfortable with our own control of things here in Guadalajara, Mexico.
What about you: Are you finding control and comfort in your own will? Things can be stripped from us in a moment. Its a scary thought, but God has a line of buses waiting to pick you up or maybe its a friend that will help you out or a check that you forgot was coming your way. He is faithful to provide to protect and to lead us into all that is good!
Heavenly Father, may we find all our comfort, trust and control in you! Amen.