If you’re like most twenty somethings living in or around Boston (apparently it’s a great place for our cohort) you have used our well loved public transportation, the MBTA. The T and bus lines make it really convenient to get around Boston and it’s surrounding neighborhoods. Making internships, jobs, and college more accessible if you lack a car. With that though the T offers a million ways to interact with people of all types and also be irritated by the whole of humanity. Truly. Pushing, cursing, frustration, anger, yelling, fights-all common occurrences on and around the T. As Christians it’s all very easy to say we should be live out our Christian values when riding the T, but it feels more challenging when people shove you around to squeeze onto the T, or yet another delay is occurring. So here are 5 things to remember as a follower of Christ that hopefully keep your actions godly and make for a smoother T ride every time.
As Christians we are told to pray without ceasing, we have the ability to bring all things up with God. Pray that you would find grace and patience, pray for safety, pray for compassion, pray for those you will come into contact with, the T operators, pray boldly and pray honestly, and pray gratefully it’s a blessing there are other options to get around besides walking and driving.
2. You don’t know anyone’s story
There are thousands of people who ride the T every day. While it does not give them the right to shove you around, there are people who have been working all day, who have kids to get home to, who are stressed, who have faced a death, who don’t know where there next meal is coming from. Understand that peoples irritation rarely has anything to do with you, be willing to offer grace freely and forgive what may occur on your T ride.
3. The T operators don’t have control over problems
Sure there are accidents in which train or bus operators are at fault, but most of the time it’s a faulty car, an emergency occurred, or scheduled repairs. Be grateful they are doing their job and you are not in their shoes. Getting mad at the T when problems occur doesn’t help and just adds to the tension. Ride it out, perhaps it’s just an indication that you don’t need to be where you would have been without the delay, God watches out for us in all sorts of ways.
4. Courtesy goes a long way
It may feel terribly inconvenient to put your backpack on the ground, to wait for all the passengers to get off (it’s rough being that last person everyone squishes past), and to go to the very middle or back of the car, but it means a lot. It makes the difference between a person letting yet another train go by or finally getting home to their spouse. It means one more person can sit down after a long day of work. It means one person can stand on the T without getting knocked in the head by a backpack. And the more relaxed people are the less likely drama will play out on the T. So please, put your back pack down, it saves lives, or at least sanity.
5. What Would Jesus Do (WWJD)
Remember those wristbands that were really popular in the 90’s? While you might now wear one on your wrist it’s still important to remember the truth of it, especially when riding the T. Would Jesus punch someone in the face for loudly and obnoxiously rapping obscene lyrics? No. Would Jesus offer his seat to someone who was worn out, tired, and pregnant? Yes. Jesus would treat all with dignity and respect from the T operator, to the guy panhandling for your loose change. Do likewise.
If you remember these things as you ride the T in and around Boston even a commute can be another way to reflect holiness within you.