Yesterday I witnessed a tangible example of how we can change and affect our little worlds. It happened on a simple bus ride during my daughter's field trip.
To begin, it was the bus ride home. It was hot and everyone was tired. Gone was the excitement of what the day would hold, and now the idea of sitting three to a seat just didn't seem as tolerable as it had hours earlier. Unfortunately, about twenty-five minutes into the drive the bus hit construction, coming to a complete stand still.
At first we assumed it was a short delay. However, at about the five minute mark, kids started asking why we weren't moving, and adults started looking at their watches. At ten minutes, rumors of war were spreading over crowded seats, and who was touching whom.
At minute fifteen with no movement in sight, and the bus filled with stagnant air, with adults teetering on nausea, and kids teetering on rebellion, one of the dear teachers simply began to sing. She began with a cute version of the alphabet song, and had not reached the letter G before her plan began working. Several others took up her tune. By the time she hit Z, seventy-two little voices had joined along as she went from the Alphabet, to Bingo, to ironically, The Wheels on the Bus Go Round and Round. She led them with a booming dynamic voice, going from a whisper to a growl, to a high pitched squeak. With each voice change and each song, the kids giggled and joined along, and as the bus filled with their voices, all squabbling and space related complaints were drowned out by her song. Funny thing is, the bus hadn't gotten any cooler, the seats hadn't gotten any bigger, and the traffic hadn't started moving. Nothing had changed except someone started singing.
While I watched and listened, I was struck by the living metaphor unfolding. Here was this woman, as tired and as hot as everyone else on the bus, but she began to sing. She began to sing because the little ones needed her to. They were tired from their day, and frustrated by the wait. Their attitudes were going sour, and their grumbling was growing. So she began to sing, and as she did I felt honored to be in her presence, thankful that this woman has had the opportunity to touch the life of my child. Thankful that she remembers to sing.
So, as the concert continued and the bus remained still, I found myself wondering, 'In the midst of my bumpy bus, traffic-filled life, have I been singing?' Am I someone who adds an encouraging presence to the difficult trips of life, or am I someone who adds to the murmuring? Am I a woman who comes up with a fun little song, or am I the growling chaperone stewing from the back of the bus?
In short, have I been the leader of a cheerful song? Goodness, have I even sung?
And now, how about you?