Realizing that Privilege is a Lie.

11 04 2013

Yesterday afternoon was very interesting for me.  I had to drive a smaller bus.  Now it wasn’t because my 83 passenger bus was downed for maintenance, which I am used to having done, the bus was needed for a charter .  There wasn’t another 83 pack for me to drive.  I hadn’t been on route in a 73 passenger bus in a year and a half..   Most of the time when my bus is going to be used or downed I get a heads up.  There was none.   I carry 55 to 65 students.  An overload for the school I drive for is 58.  This was upsetting and  I felt like someone had taken away a personal item.  Things took a slight turn towards darkness. 

Every single kid got on the bus saying , “Where’s our bus?  Why don’t we have our bus?  This bus sucks!”  The kids would not quiet down enough at first for me to give an explanation for the smaller bus.  The 8th graders got upset that I said they needed to share the back seats that were usually assigned to them.   I was missing 10 seats due to the smaller sized bus.  It then hit me very hard. 

 

The USA is TOO privileged.  A sense that just because we are here we OWN everything.  And I was just as guilty about this feeling as the students. 

 

The kids on the bus wanted “their” bus.  No, it’s the school districts and if the larger bus is needed it’s got to go, even without it’s regular diver. 

I found myself upset that MY bus wasn’t going on route.  For goodness sake, it’s MINE.  No, it’s the school district’s bus, you get to drive it when you can. 

We think that “ownership” is what we need.  The reality is that EVERYTHING, from the clothes on our backs, to the vehicles we drive, to even the food we eat is not ours to own. 

All these things are for our use, but not for us to keep.   I find that when I have taken pride of ownership of a thing, like a car or even my own kids, I like how that feels for a few days or months and then that feeling fades.  I then just take for granted that I’ll ALWAYS have the car.  Then the warning lights start to come on.  I start ignoring them.  Then the engine locks up.  It’s done.  I’m left with either getting a new car or relying on public transport and walking.   There is a loss of privilege. 

Or should I have felt this in the first place?  I think not.  

I then realized we are all BLESSED to be here.  When I sense that I am blessed, I don’t feel privileged, that sense of entitled to something.  Younger children understand what it means to be privileged.  Like the kids on my route riding in our regular bus in the AM, to all of a sudden having to ride a smaller bus,  not liking it because “it’s not our bus and this one sucks” we all need to see that it’s not about getting your own way and about what is best for all.  

I must admit that I was upset that I didn’t get MY bus.  This morning I am humbled that our Heavenly Father has taught me another lesson on my resurrection life.  Just because I have earned a school bus credential, doesn’t mean that I will always have the same bus.  Just because I follow Jesus doesn’t mean that I will have “no problems” though out my life. 

I’ve come to understand that the so called “privieged elite”,  either religious or financially are living a lie.  Just because you know Jesus, have a ton of money, or both, you are not more or less privileged than I.  

My hope this morning is that I will be able to drive my usual bus.  But if not, that is fine.  I will still have a bus to drive, just not the one I would prefer to drive.  I will have to deal with kids being out of their comfort level.  I will have to drive the bus differently due to where the wheels are.  My usual bus front tires are behind the driver, the other style, they are in front.  Many things that I take for granted on my usual bus are gone.  I have to re adjust. 

This is what happens when you see that privilege is just an illusion, but oh what a tempting illusion it is.  

I find that Jesus was NEVER under the influence of privilege.  He understood that he WAS, but never lorded that over his disciples or other people.  He humbled himself.  He didn’t take for granted what we do.  He used things because they needed to be used, not for the sake of the thing being there, but because it has a purpose.   Finding your purpose is humbling and you then sense that there is a reason for you to be here.  You find you don’t look at the things of this world and want it.

I find that the idea of being privileged is compatible to being OF the world.  We are NOT of this world, but we are to live IN the world.  The things here are for use, but not our individual use.  Does that make sense?   Not to a person who thinks that the world is for their use and their use alone.  

We still have a long way to go before we reach a state of being that will resound the ideal Kingdom of the Heavens.  

So today, I’m going to be grateful for what I am able to use.  I’m going to be grateful for my work, no matter what kind of bus I’m driving.  I’m going to be loving and kind, but firm in what I need to do. 

Rich or poor, religious or not, we need to stop seeing ourselves as privileged to be here and to start living as greateful and blessed people who don’t NEED to be privileged. 

 

Amen!

 

 

 

 

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