A new view on the bus

In college, I went on a study abroad to Peru with about 20 other students. A little over a month into the trip, my classmates and I completed a several-days-long trek in the Andes. Although we saw other people up in the mountains, the majority of my interactions during the trek were with my classmates, and by the end of it, I was annoyed and frustrated with some of them. Deep down, I knew I respected my classmates and didn’t want to be angry with them, but after our trek I felt I needed a break. I really wanted to spend some time without the group, but there wasn’t much opportunity to be alone.

A day or two after our trek was over, we took a long bus ride through the mountains. Several hours into the trip, I suddenly became sick, losing my strength, my lunch, and my appetite. Up until then, I’d been feeling perfectly fine (minus the annoyance of being “stuck” with my classmates on a bus), but I now felt completely miserable. The trip leaders and a few of my classmates offered comforting words, but my physical condition quickly became the only thing I could think about. 

No longer consumed by such negativity about my classmates, I soon became impelled to find the good they were expressing. This idea didn’t feel like my own, but I felt it was something I needed to do. So, as I continued to pray about my physical discomfort, I took mental note of the good I was witnessing around me. I was surprised that it turned out not to be hard at all. It was almost as if a commentary was turned on in my head, narrating all the good for me. All I had to do was listen.

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