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© 2015: James L. Ray, Sr. PhD -The Pastor’s Pen Publishing

GETTING BACK TO IT...

In 2005, while driving as a motor-coach operator (Tour Bus Driver), and after five years of driving for this company, I found myself upset with God. Why? For the first time, in all of my working days, I was working on a Sunday. I mean I had never worked on a Sunday morning. I did, however, work graveyard for one company that required that I clocked in at night. But i am speaking of, Sunday Morning, missing church. That was not me because I promised God that my Sundays would be spent in church. I failed to see that God had something for me to do. 2005 during a rainy season that I had not experienced with God, I wound up driving, not every Sunday but this one Sunday. I have to share with you the whole story... I get a call from the transportation company that says, “James, we have you scheduled for a chartered tour. We need you to pick up your coach and make sure that everything is functioning well.” No problem! I took pride in driving that 45foot long, 14 foot tall coach. I mopped the floor and made sure that the windows were squeaky clean. Took the coach to Wilmington, CA to have it dumped and washed. It had been dumped since the last time I drove it, because I thought it to be important and sanitary that the lavatory (bathroom) on the coach would be cleaned before I parked it at night so that it would not stink the next trip. After cleaning the coach, topping off the fuel, checking the oil, water and tires, I start my way back to the yard to park the coach. As I pull in, a call comes over the boost phone asking me to come in the office before I park the coach; and of course I did. The moment I walk in I receive my itinerary, but I didn’t read it until I got home. Here was my Itinerary: Saturday, March 5th, 2005 - - Deadhead to South San Fransisco - Holiday Inn (6h & 21m) Sunday, March 6th, 10am = pick up clients from San Fransisco Airport take client to Chancellor Hotel (27m) Monday, March 7th = Tour San Fransisco - Arrive in El Portal, CA for night (Yosemite) (3h & 42m) Tuesday, March 8th = Tour Yosemite National Park - Arrive in Bishop, CA for night (3h & 6m) Wednesday, March 9th = Travel to Las Vegas - Tour Vegas strip - Arrive Americas Best Value Inn for night (5h & 39m) Thursday, March 10th = Travel from Vegas to Grand Canyon (5h & 39m) and return Friday, March 11th = Travel from Vegas to Anaheim (4h & 21m) and return Saturday, March 12th, Travel from Anaheim to Universal Studios (54m) - Universal Studios to Hollywood & Highland (15m) - Hollywood & Highland to LAX (44m) As I complete this story, remember the times that are posted in the Itinerary and remember, I stated that is was one of the worse rain storms that I had been in while in California. I am driving to South San Fransisco with an empty coach and the timing was off just a little because of the traffic slowing down due to the storm. I am NOT happy, but I have a job to do. I call my family once I check into my room then call it a night. However, Sunday? I was HOT! I am working on a Sunday, sitting at the airport waiting for the clients to land. I get the call and pull up to meet the clients and what do I see, 4 adults and 35 teens. 35!!! I get them to the hotel and I have to park behind the Federal Bank because there is no place to park a 45’ long, 14’ tall motor-coach downtown San Fransisco. Monday, I am still upset because I drove (worked) on a Sunday. I get the coach ready for transport and load the luggage and clients on the coach. This is a 3 hour drive that is longer because of the storm, but not bad. After touring San Fransisco, we get to the hotel in El Portal late at night. I’m fuming but missing a BIG message. We are staying in a hotel where an adult female and two teen females were murdered just a couple of years earlier and I have 4 adults and 35 teens from Great Britain roaming around outside without a care in the world, playing in the snow that has accumulated on the ground. GOD’S PROTECTION! Tuesday, we go into Yosemite and I park in front of a waterfall. Did I say that i was still upset? I am telling God, I have NEVER worked on a Sunday and Here I am sitting in a motor-coach and missed Sunday worship. God said to me, and I mean it was clear, “James, stop talking, get out and look up.” I got off the coach, looked up and I saw this world famous waterfall Frozen from the top to the middle and flowing from the middle down. Tears started flowing and one of the adults came to me and said, I wish we had something like this in the UK. We load the coach and the trip to Bishop, that should have been 3hrs & 6mns turned out to be a 10 hour ride because the main route was under 4 feet of snow, so I had to go out the way I came in. While I was apologizing to my passengers because of the length of time, they are saying this is so wonderful, the vastness of the travel, there is no travel such as this at home. GOD’S HANDY WORK! Wednesday,  we wake up in Bishop and I am finally beginning to see, what I was missing. So we load the coach to head from Bishop to Vegas I start driving the 5h & 11m trip and run into a slight problem. The desert that we must travel through is flooded. YES! The desert is flooded. I Must go back the way I came to get the passengers from Bishop to Vegas because the desert is flooded! I am apologizing and the adults are saying, “This is amazing! Flooding in a Dry Place!” GOD’S SOVEREIGNTY!!! Thursday, We leave Vegas and travel to the Grand Canyon, a 5hr & 39m ride. Nothing happens to delay us, but when we get there, one of the women on the trip says to me, “Please hold my purse.” Me: I am sorry, i don’t hold purses. Again, she says, “Mr. James, Please, Please hold my purse.” Me: OK, just for a moment. She goes over by a tree, as she views the Grand Canyon and screams, God Is Good! Thank YOU!!!!! The coach is full of adults and teens with teary eyes. - I see it, GOD’S MAJESTY!! Friday, we travel from Vegas to Anaheim. The plan is to take them to the Queen Mary for dinner but because of the rain and traffic, we can’t make the Queen Mary. The question is asked, “Can you take us somewhere near the hotel where the teens will enjoy themselves. I pull up at Hometown Buffet and we all pay to eat. I return and pick up another plate and the son of one of the adults ask, “Aren’t you going to pay for that?” I explain the concept of the buffet. The teens get permission to go back since it is their custom to eat small quantities. The Teens “PIGGED OUT” while the adults were next door, experiencing another phenomenon, the .99 cent store and they “CLEANED UP”! - I got the message, GOD’S BLESSINGS! Saturday, we are enjoying the day at Universal Studios. I don’t know who set the itinerary, because our hotel was a block from Disney. The teens did not care! From there we went to Hollywood & Highland and my passengers, on their last day in the states, were so amazed that when we got to LAX, they were, again, full of tears. Now, they do not want to leave what they considered and AMAZING Holiday. This taught me that what I saw as a let down from God to allow them to make me work on a Sunday. God used it as a tool to lead me to a path that HE wanted me to take. Because of that experience, I started taking my church and others, every Palm Weekend, to worship GOD in HIS GLORY! We’ve worshiped in Yosemite National Park, the Sequoia National Park, the Grand Canyon, Oatman, AZ and God has met us each time. I admit that i let it lapse because i did not want to put my work in the path of what was going on at my home church, but I Am GETTING BACK TO IT!!!! Stay tuned for information for a FUNTASTIC Event!!!
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