Teenagers are a bit crazy. It’s a well-known fact. My sister and I proved this one summer as we traveled by bus from Northeast Texas to Charleston, West Virginia. We were eighteen and sixteen, on the road for thirty-six hours to visit close family friends.
It was the first time my parents had sent any of us on this kind of trip. We’d all gone away to camp at one time or another. I had spent the summer away when I was fourteen. But this was different. This was before the cell phone (there was life before cell phones?) so there was no way to keep in contact along the way.
They put us on a bus around 6:00 AM; we were to arrive around 3:00 PM the next day. We packed a small cooler since we weren’t sure when or if we’d have time to get off the bus to grab something to eat. My extra-careful mother made us carry a bag with the essentials – disinfectant wipes, Lysol spray, toilet paper, hand sanitizer, tissues, and I can’t remember what else.
She made us take a vow that we wouldn’t use the restroom without applying at least two coats of disinfectant. We each carried a pillow and my younger sister insisted on bringing a blue, three-foot tall teddy bear. Don’t ask. Of course neither of us could travel without the mandatory large purse and we also carried an “entertainment” bag with books and magazines. (Sorry, no electronic gaming devices.) That was our “carry-on”; we checked our suitcases and overnight bags.
This all wouldn’t be too bad if we didn’t have to change busses four o’clock the next morning with all that paraphernalia. Not only did we change buses, we had to change bus lines. Four o’clock in the morning we dragged all of our carry-on baggage four blocks to the new bus line.
We were so tired and giddy and we kept dropping things. The business streets were deserted and quiet, except for the echo of whatever we were yelling at each other – or singing, or laughing about. We finally made it to the next station and threw all our stuff onto plastic chairs, swearing we’d never do that again.
If this scene is giving you a chuckle, imagine what the plainclothes policeman who followed us from one station to the next must have been thinking. Yes, that’s right. My parents called the local police station and asked them to keep an eye out for two teenage girls traveling alone.
We didn’t find out until years later that they did this. We laughed so hard at what we must have looked like to him! But the truth of the matter was that we were under his watchful, protective eye whether we knew it or not.
God used this man to give my parents some peace, despite our oblivion to the matter. How often do we not realize during a situation or event in our life that God is watching over us? He may use others to help us along the way, or He may be the still small voice inside to give us the guidance and peace we need. Enjoy the journey, knowing He’s watching.
“For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.”
– Psalm 91:11 (KJV)
“Father, help us to be ever mindful that You see us all the time. May it give us comfort as we journey to know that You guard and guide us, even when we are unaware….”