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The Passenger

by Mark Lester Dondonay

 “You are all children of the light and children of the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness. So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be awake and sober. For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk, get drunk at night.” 1 Thessalonians 5:5-7

Overcast clouds covered the sky. It was gray all over and the rain was attempting to fall. I finished my class, then packed my things. It was going to be my first time to visit Samcheok City which is only a 10 to 15-minute bus ride from my mission field. We were going to have a concert at a church there. Knowing that they invited non-SDA friends, I was excited.

After lunch, I and Banjo, a fellow missionary, waited for the bus downtown. Finally, the bus stopped right in front of me. I got on, dropped my fare and found a seat comfortable for me to sit. The misty wind was cool. It was like a whisper of music to my ear. I enjoyed the green trees and colorful flowers along the way. But I could not see the blue sky. If the sun were up that day, it would have been a perfect ride.

Passengers got on and off the bus every time it stopped. “We’re close to Samcheok,” Banjo said. I just kept silent. The bus stopped again. Then an old man came in. I could tell by his smell that he was slightly drunk. I could not understand what the driver was saying but he was so mad at the old man. “What’s the problem?” I asked the man behind me. To my surprise, the old man could speak English and he was really frank to say, “I have no money.” Banjo and I offered to pay the fare for him to avoid delay but the driver and the other passengers said, “No, it’s ok.” I really felt pity for him. The driver eventually ran out of patience that he took the old man’s hand and forcibly dragged him off the bus. That scene touched my heart. I asked myself, “Why couldn’t they just give him a ride?” The reason was that he was drunk.

That experience gave me a lesson.
When the end comes, many will not be fitted to claim the promise of eternal glory because of drunkenness to the world. Like the old man, he wanted to get a ride but he was drunk. It was no big deal for me but for the other passengers, it was.

The bus is heaven. The driver is Christ. We are the passengers. If you’re not suited to have a heavenly ride, you can’t enter its gates.

God showed His love to us by sending His only son to save us from our sins. Now, we are already His. He took us out from the dark world and put us into the marvelous light. As Paul says, “We are the children of light, not of darkness.” Yet, we still have to choose.

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