Proverbs 1:5 says: ‘let the wise listen and add to their learning’.

Yesterday morning Isaac and I took a bus ride and the bus driver said something very interesting to me.

Isaac is eleven and next week starts his new secondary school in York and will travel there and back by bus. Although he’s travelled on buses before with other people, next week will be the first time by himself, so we did a trial run yesterday. We set off in good time, found the bus stop, hailed the No.5 bus, paid the correct money, took the ticket, looked out for landmarks on the way, rang the bell at the right time, and the bus stopped directly outside school. Excellent! And then we crossed the road and practiced coming back, pretending it was the end of school. It all went smoothly and Isaac was fine.

Isaac could probably have managed next week without the practice, but it was a still a good thing to do. Moving up to secondary school involves lots of changes and many things around you are new, so there are always benefits from having a practice run. That’s true in all sorts of areas of life. As my dad used to tell me: ‘practice makes perfect’.

This was reiterated to me by yesterday’s bus driver on the way to school. As we stepped on the bus Isaac went first, paid his fair and took his ticket. I think the driver could see he was not very practiced at this. He was an older man, perhaps close to retirement, with a kind face. I then paid for myself and as I was taking my ticket I said to the driver, ‘My son is just learning how to use the bus.’ He looked at me and replied, ‘Me too. I’m still learning.’

I smiled as we sat down, grateful at the wisdom we receive as we travel the journey of life. When I’m about to retire I want to be able to say, along with the kindly bus driver, ‘I’m still learning.’