The Bus Stop is a series of true stories about my life, people I've worked with and events I've experienced. Of course the names have been changed. I hope these stories will brighten your day with a few laughs as well as give you encouragement. Hopefully you can avoid making some of the mistakes I've made and if you have already made them, then you can identify with me.

Friday, December 4, 2009


Recently, I was watching the movie, “The Right Stuff.” You might have seen it. The movie was what prompted me to send out the questions I did a couple of weeks ago. “The Right Stuff” is a semi-historical-Hollywood account of the great steps in aviation and test pilots. One, of many, of the main barriers to be broken was the speed of sound, or also called, Mach 1. Chuck Yeager was the first to achieve this goal and break it. However, it wasn’t long before Scott Crossfield came along and broke the Mach 2 barrier also. Concerning space travel, from a list of new astronauts Alan Sheppard became the first man in space. Gus Grissom was the next with a suborbital flight followed by John Glen who was the first to orbit the earth 3 times. There were a lot of “firsts” during those days. Just a few years later Neil Armstrong was the first man to step on the moon. Do you know who the second man was? It was Buzz Aldrin. What about the guy who waited for them in the command module? His name was Michael Collins. Not related to flying: Did you know that Mark Spitz held the world record for winning 7 gold medals at the 1972 Olympics? This record held until Michael Phelps won 8 gold medals in the 2008 Olympics.

There are several points to be made by these events, one being, only people who are interested in that particular sort of thing will remember the milestones. Since my background is in aviation, these things are interesting to me, but maybe not to you. The main person who remembers these accomplishments is the person who accomplished the goal. However, the people who you will remember are the one’s who have done something for or you’ve done something for them.

There is only one “First.” There will never be another man to be the first on the moon. The greatest differences between Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin is one of the greatest ever faced from mankind’s point of view. Most people remember Armstrong, but have no idea who the second man was. Some are really concerned with making it into the history books. In the end, in reality, there will be no history. Just HIS story!

We might not have a choice in where we place in life and sometimes we do. Our competitive nature might improve us and other times destroy us. Someone once said that there are too many people in this world to compete with, and the only person I have to be better than is the person I was yesterday. My wife says I’m a worse winner than loser when we play games.

No matter what kind of records we set, there will always be someone to come along and break them. Were you the child that was compared to other siblings or are you the kind of parent who compares your children to each other and other children? Do you compare yourself to everyone else? Do you feel less than or more than? If so, then this is absurd. We just can’t compare ourselves or our children to anyone else on this planet because none of us were cut from the same mold. WE ARE INDIVIDUALS!

I know I can get caught in this comparison dance as well as anyone else. Then I have to step back and remember this person is not me and I am not them. You are the only one that can let others put you down and make you feel inferior. No one else can do it. What do you believe? Why do we give others this power?

Mankind’s opinions are completely restricted to mankind. The only opinion that really matters is God’s. A thousand years from now it’s not going to matter who received gold medal and who set certain records or who was the wealthiest person in the world. In a thousand years the only thing that will matter is where you are, Heaven or Hell? The only thing we can take to Heaven with us is our children and hopefully several others.

I’m not against competition and it does have its place. However, we shouldn’t let it control us. We need to control it! What we might use to help us to better ourselves could also bring out the worst in us.

Recently my wife and I got a Wii sports and Wii Fit. At first we competed with each other, but when you have the record the only one to compete with is yourself. I ask, “Can I do better than I did yesterday?” This should always be our spiritual goal. We need to ask, “Am I closer to God today than I was yesterday?” It’s a little like the Army slogan, “Be all you can be!” Wouldn’t it be beneficial if we were all deaf to those spreading their negative poison?

There is another thing we older folks with health problems and such have a tendency to compare ourselves to: What we used to be or what we used to do. “Our past selves” I know from experience this type of contemplation can lead to depression. We must do our best with what we have right now. Easier said than done right? Our only hope exists in God and through His Holy Spirit we can accomplish this.

Here is a verse I have to remember frequently because I have a tendency to forget:

We do not dare to classify or compare ourselves with some who commend themselves. When they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are not wise. 2 Corinthians 10:12

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