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Rob Bell was coming to Dallas and we were so excited. We’d been trying to get tickets for weeks and still had no guarantee that we would be able to get in the door, but we left Austin for Dallas in the church bus.

Sometimes we get so excited at the thought of what lies ahead, a birthday, a party, the birth of a child, etc that we lose all perspective on what is going on in the world around us. We put those blinders on and see nothing but that event and we anticipate the joy of that impending moment.

But, life continues with or without us. The world does not share our anticipation. The world keeps turning…

When the time comes, many times we are disappointed or letdown because the event didn’t live up to our expectations. The blockbuster movie was a stinker or the party was lame. You get the idea.

As we came over a hill on the north side of Hillsboro, a traffic jam forced us to slame on the brakes and the bus wouldn’t restart. So, we were stuck in the left hand land on IH 35 during rush hour traffic and as the reality of the situation settled in the humidity and heat of a dead bus the anticipation quickly soured into dread.

We spent the next several hours on the side of the road, at the Ford dealer, at the restaurant, on the road, in the Baylor Starbucks, and on the road back to Austin. A group of six including 2 preachers, a seminarian, a football athletic trainer, and a husband and wife. We’d never spent 9 hours together and now God had given us an opportunity to talk to listen to dream to bond.

If the bus had not broken down, we would have gone to a great show and returned home with a good memory.

But, as we returned home late at night someone said, “We might have missed something that Rob Bell said that would change our church for the better.” Kester replied, “I think something somebody in this van said today will change your church for the better.”

Now we can anticipate that God will enable us to make Austin a better place to live because of that failed road trip.


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