I grew up in Raytown, Missouri, and I attended Blue Ridge Elementary School. Every day I rode the school bus to and from school. All the school buses had a student who was a bus monitor. The person wore a uniform with a strap that went over his or her shoulder which connected to a belt that went around their waist. The monitor had special gloves and got to wear a badge similar to a policeman’s badge.
Everyone on the bus wanted to be the bus monitor with the special seating and special honor that accompanied the position. When the bus would stop, the bus monitor, seated behind the bus driver, would stand and pull the lever that opened the school bus doors. The students would file onto the bus in the morning and off the bus in the evening with the bus monitor holding the lever. In elementary school circles, it was a big deal!
When I was in the fourth grade, I remember praying at night, “Lord, I want to be a bus monitor. Please let me be a bus monitor.” Fourth and fifth grades came and went, and I didn’t get to be a bus monitor. I still had hope for the sixth grade, because it was usually older students chosen by the bus driver who got the esteemed position.
The day came when they posted the list of bus monitors. It was my last chance! My name was not on the list. It was so disappointing! I remember that night asking God why He didn’t answer my prayer. Even though it was a desire of my heart, it never happened. Even though I prayed, it never happened. But I finally got over it. That dream was dead. I was never going to be a bus monitor. Ever. In my life. I put the dream away.
I grew up, went to college, got married, and had children. The years went by and I became the pastor of a church. In the fall of 2001, my wife and I took a trip to Israel with Dr. Billye Brim. Although I have been to Israel many times since, this was the first time I had ever been there, and I wanted to be close to the action. I wanted to hear every word that our guide said. I didn’t want to be at the back of the crowd. I wanted to hear it all! I will never forget the first morning as we prepared to get on the bus for our first tour in Israel, Dr. Brim took me by the arm and asked me if I would be the bus monitor on bus number one. I happily agreed!
My duty each morning was to lead the people on the bus in reading Psalm 91 and, of course, I would get to sit in the special seating at the front of the bus where I could assist the tour guide as well as the bus driver while we went through our daily routine. As I stood up on the first day to lead the reading of Psalm 91, I heard the Spirit of God speak to my heart and say, “You forgot about your dream, but I didn’t!”
I was a bus monitor in Israel! That trumps Blue Ridge Elementary School! After all of those decades, even though it was a prayer I had forgotten, God had not. The prayer of a fourth grader was answered decades later in a much better way and with purpose.
So the point is this: you may think your dream is dead. I thought my dream was dead. What else could I think? It was impossible because I was no longer in school. But what seemed impossible to me was possible with God. You may have dusty, unfulfilled dreams that you have put on a shelf because you don’t see how they could ever come to pass. The circumstances on the outside look like it’s impossible, but the Spirit of God and the Word of God tell you this: you don’t walk by sight; you walk by faith. You live by what God has spoken to you on the inside and what His Word says. Your dream is not dead; it is only sleeping.