Flee. Pursue Righteousness.

Flee the evil desires of youth, and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart. (2 Timothy 2:22)

Montezuma’s revenge is no joke. After traveling with family to Mexico last week, about a third of us ended up with the dreaded affliction. I’m not sure why Montezuma has such disdain for foreign travelers, it is a fact that we do boost the local economy, but he’s a nasty fellow, and his revenge is even nastier. After being up most of the night Sunday night, I decided to brave it anyway, and go on to work Monday morning. It seemed that as long as I didn’t eat anything, I was pretty okay. At least I stayed out of the bathroom. I didn’t quite think this through, though. For me, no eating eventually will bring on a migraine. It did.

So about 1:30 Monday, I decided to take my sad sack self on home. I work in downtown Birmingham, and to get to my car requires a short city bus ride to a “remote” parking lot. The buses run on a fairly predictable schedule, and I made it to the bus stop just in time to see my bus pull off. No worries, there’d be another one…. In twenty minutes or so.

I hopped the next bus, and with three other passengers, thankfully sat in its air-conditioned seat, and sunk into it for the ride to the lot. I leaned my head against the bus window and sort of drifted off. Not to sleep, actually, but not exactly alert, either. There is quite a bit of traffic in the afternoon downtown, and so the bus ride is usually stop and go. I knew that the bus was stopped, but I figured it a red light was the reason. After a few moments the other female passenger said, “I don’t believe it. She just got her purse and got off the bus!” It took a beat or two for it to register that she was talking to me. I looked up to see that the two male passengers had gotten off the bus. We were not stopped at a red light, but pulled to the side of the road. Then I saw what the lady was talking about. Our bus driver, purse in hand, was walking away from the bus.

At that moment, the other lady passenger grabbed her purse, mumbled something about having somewhere to be, and left the bus, too. There I sat, alone on a city bus with the motor running in downtown Birmingham. Feeling like death itself.

Was the driver coming back? I had no idea. I waited a few moments, but she did not return. I waited a few more moments and weighed my options. I only had two. I could continue sitting there on the bus, or I could walk the four blocks to my car in the sweltering heat… while feeling like death.

In the end, I bailed out, too, and left the bus sitting there unoccupied, running, on the side of a city street. It’s funny to me now. It wasn’t as funny on Monday. But here’s the thing. Sometimes we need to stick it out, and sometimes we need to bail. It’s hard to know what to do sometimes.

I don’t know what made that bus driver bail on her bus and her passengers, but something did. She made a decision. She decided to walk away. How about you? Maybe there’s something in your life you need to walk away from. You’ve known it for a while, but to just walk away seems hard. Maybe it’s a bad influence or a friend who seems to tempt you into sin. Could be an unhealthy habit that has a hold of you. Whatever it is, you know it’s not good for you. It does nothing to better you, or grow into the person the Lord longs for you to be, and knows you can be.

Maybe today is the day you walk away from it. For good. Flee. Pursue righteousness.

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