As I like to do in most cities I visit these days, while I was in Nashville I checked out the public transportation. Nashville MTA was efficient, on-time, and clean. The drivers I met were friendly and eager to help me and others with our questions..
As I waited at one bus stop, traffic was thick. I couldn’t help but think that I am usually one of the ones in a car, usually my own car, helping fill the roads.
Then I began to think about the advantages and disadvantages to public transportation, and to driving oneself. I’m not planning to give up my car any time soon, but I have to tell you, there are some things about public transportation that are really beneficial; and I’m not just talking about the environmental impact.
Lately, this thought has been finding its way into my head quite regularly: If I am in control, God isn’t. I pondered it anew as I rode the no. 7 bus back toward downtown Nashville.
I like being in control of my life and as much of my surroundings as is necessary. Of course I am coming to realize that even when I think I am in control I am not nearly so in control as I think I am.
Driving gives one the feeling of being in control. One can choose when to leave, what route to take, how fast to drive, when to stop where along the way, etc. But when one accepts a ride, one puts oneself at the mercy of someone else; one gives up some control.
Sitting on a bus I was able to think more freely-I didn’t have to pay attention to traffic, speed, etc. Being someone else’s passenger is amuch different way to travel than being one’s own driver.
Of course, riding a bus limits one’s freedom, too. Leaving the part of town I was in involved sitting at a bus stop for 20 minutes when I otherwise could have hopped in my car and left.
But waiting for the bus, getting to ride a bus instead of driving, gave me some time and space to relax and put myself in the hands of others. I think that is a good exercise, at least for me.