Bob Tamasy: Lessons In Unity On A 9-Day Bus Tour

Thursday, October 7, 2021 - by Bob Tamasy
Bob Tamasy
Bob Tamasy

My wife and I recently returned from a nine-day round-trip bus tour to Cape Cod, Mass. I’ll have to admit that logging that much seat time on a motorcoach wasn’t one of my all-time favorite things, but it was a lot of fun – an instructive and insightful trip in many ways.

 

There were 48 of us on the tour. Most were in the 60-plus age range, but in most other ways we were a diverse group. The 38 women outnumbered the 10 men, but our time together was harmonious because we were united by a common mission – to see and experience Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard and later, Plymouth, Mass.

with its fabled rock.

 

Some were still working, full-time or part-time, and others who were devoting some of their hours each week to volunteer work. Some were seasoned travelers, having been on several similar excursions, while for others it was a first-time event. We had single people, relatively newly marrieds, some longtime married couples, and a few widows in our midst. Most of the travelers had both children and grandkids; some had entered the great-grandkids stage of life.

 

A trip like this couldn’t have happened without the contributions of many people, including the driver of course, as well as the gracious lady who handled every detail of the event with several skilled helpers. The local guide, a former educator and native of the Azores in the North Atlantic, offered special insights into the different areas of Cape Cod we visited. Unseen were the mechanics and technicians who had prepared the motorcoach for the more than 2,000-mile journey.

 

Even though most of us began the tour as strangers, we all got along extremely well. Five of the participants, including the driver, were African-Americans, but there was no evidence of the “systemic racism” we hear about so frequently. We were all members of one race – the human race – enjoying the opportunity to see a part of the U.S.A. most of us hadn’t seen before and getting to know one another. We took photos of one another, helped each other if needed whenever we stopped, even sang and danced together one evening after dinner.

 

This, in my view, served as a metaphor for what the Church should be. People of different backgrounds, genders, education levels, skin colors and interests, all coming together to share in a common purpose. In fact, the unity within the body of Christ should be many times greater than what we experienced over the course of that nine-day tour. Because our mission as believers isn’t temporary, but eternal.

 

We read about this in Philippians 2:1-2, “If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose.”

 

A number of us on the YMCA-sponsored tour shared a common faith in the Lord, we discovered. It added to the quality and depth of our interactions along the way. Within the framework of the Church – the body of Christ – the synergy borne of a common mission should be that and much more.

 

The apostle Paul, in another of his letters, wrote, “My goal is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (Colossians 2:2-3). As followers of Jesus, we may have differences of doctrine and practice in our respective congregations and denominations, but shouldn’t the “mystery of God” which we all have embraced be the glue that holds us together?

 

Just as the travelers on our bus tour to Cape Cod were different in many ways – experiences, personal and professional backgrounds, stages of life, expectations for the future – but still united, so should it be for those of us who have been called to be God’s children.

 

As 1 Corinthians 12:12-13 asserts, “The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts, and though all its parts are many, they form one body. So it is with Christ. For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body – whether Jews or Greeks, slave or free – and we were all given the one Spirit to drink.”

 

As we follow Jesus, we find ourselves on both an individual journey and a collective one as well. We have received different roles and responsibilities, gifts and talents, but ultimately, “…whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him” (Colossians 3:17). We’re partners in the Lord’s kingdom work.


* * *

Robert J. Tamasy is a veteran journalist, former newspaper editor and magazine editor. Bob has written, co-authored and edited more than 15 books. These include the newly published, ”Marketplace Ambassadors”; “Business At Its Best: Timeless Wisdom from Proverbs for Today’s Workplace”; “Tufting Legacies,” “The Heart of Mentoring,” and “Pursuing Life With a Shepherd’s Heart.” A weekly business meditation he edits, “Monday Manna,” is translated into more than 20 languages and sent via email around the world by CBMC International. The address for his blog is www.bobtamasy.blogspot.com. His email address is btamasy@comcast.net.


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