When the bus to Jerusalem arrived at the entrance to Shilo I was still fifty meters from the bus stop. I knew the bus would have to turn around, stop for passengers, wait for all of them to board and pay before it took off. Would I reach the bus stop in time to climb aboard? Not wanting to take any chances I began running. As I ran I told myself, It’s all for the best! It’s all for the best! The path was downhill and I was flying fast. Surely I would catch the bus. Then, suddenly, splat! I fell flat on my face, literally!
I bumped my chin, scraped my nose, smashed my finger, and skinned my knees. As I gingerly tried to pick myself up a thirteen-year-old girl came running from across the street.
“Are you all right?” she cried.
She helped me up and I tried my best to assure her- and myself- that I was okay.
“Please make sure the bus does not leave without me,” I begged her.
She refused to leave my side as she gathered up my belongings. “The bus is stuck behind the school bus. You have plenty of time. Are you sure you are okay? Maybe you should go home?”
Her concern and maturity touched me but I did not heed her advice. With her at my side I limped to the bus and an hour later was in Jerusalem. I was a sore woman for several days.
Almost a week later I was again on my way to Jerusalem. This time I had a ride with my friend and it was a pleasant trip. She dropped me off opposite a stop for the light rail train that would take me near my destination. Just as I closed her car door I saw the train approaching. Instinctively I began to run. Then suddenly I remembered what had happened six days earlier. It’s all for the best! It’s all for the best! I repeated over and over as I walked briskly but not brisk enough to catch the train. Then at the station the sign announced the next light rail would arrive, not in the normal ten minute wait, but rather in just three minutes.
My last stop for the day was a doctor’s appointment in one of the Jerusalem suburbs. The site of the doctor’s office has very infrequent bus service; so infrequent that on the way there I gave up on the bus and took a taxi. After the appointment I was more than ready to head home. I wondered how long I would have to wait for the bus that would take me to the central bus station. There was no time to wonder, though. I stepped on the sidewalk and there, with me just a couple of meters from the bus stop, came my bus. I knew the next bus would not come for another half an hour, if I was lucky. I also knew that I should not even think about running to catch this one. So I waved my arms madly and hoped for the best. Either the driver did not see me or he wanted to ignore me.
It’s all for the best! It’s all for the best! I reminded myself but I did not say it very enthusiastically. There were no taxis in sight and it was hot and I was thirsty and I wanted to be home already. From the corner of my eye I noticed a young woman carrying a baby in a car seat. She looked as if she was heading to her apartment.
“Do you live here?’ I asked.
“Where’s a good place to catch a bus to the bus station?”
She pointed to the bus stop where the bus had been. “That’s your best bet.”
“Oh,” I sighed. “The bus just passed by.”
“Well,” she smiled. “I’m heading in that direction. I’ll be happy to give you a ride.”
My eyes grew wide at her suggestion. I had not expected such an offer but I knew I would be foolish not to accept it even though she was a stranger. She took me to a good bus stop. I caught my bus to Shilo and, in truth, it was all for the best. Without running in the morning I had had to wait only three minutes for another train. Then, in the afternoon, HaShem had sent me a kind stranger to give me a ride instead of taking the bus. Perhaps, at the tender age of fifty-nine, I had finally learned my lesson. There is no need to run for a bus. If I am supposed to get somewhere I will arrive when I am supposed to with or without a bus.