For the past three-plus years, I have spent countless hours behind the wheel of my SUV driving for Lyft. During that time, between 10,000 and 15,000 people (somehow, I lost count) have taken 4,500 rides with me. I began driving as a way to take control of my schedule while making enough money to help provide for my family. As a Bi-vocational pastor, I have worked as a bus driver, a barista in a coffee bar, a Lyft driver, and I now have the privilege to be a coach and consultant with Stay Forth Designs. I want to share some of the Lyft experiences and lessons with you before they fade from the rearview mirror of my mind.
What did you just say:
In the middle of a ride down the interstate, one of the ladies in my car says to the other, “This is where my brother’s high-speed chase ended.” I am still not sure how I should have responded but I was blindsided by the nonchalant tone in her voice as she discussed her brother’s criminal activity and his ultimate demise and sat quietly as I drove and prayed for her and her family.
Generational sin is so hard to overcome. This instance, and many others, raised my awareness of the brokenness around me. Most people need someone to talk to who will listen. She did not need my lecture or correction; she needed compassion and grace. People are broken because of personal sins, the sins of others, and the sinful world in which we live. The love and sacrifice of Jesus is the best thing we can offer.
Adventures in Peopling:
As a rideshare driver, you never know who you will pick up, what state they will be in when you arrive, and where they are going until you arrive at the pickup location. For most of the first year of driving, I focused on driving at night and on the weekends. I have driven honeymooners, bachelorette and bachelor parties, fighting couples, heavily intoxicated individuals and groups, grandmothers going to doctor’s appointments, businessmen and women headed to meetings or to the airport, and every walk of life in between.
I have shared laughs, Jesus, and silence over the miles. I have been cussed out, disagreed with, encouraged, and even hit on. Each person or group has their own personality and, as an observer of humanity, I enjoy diversity. Every conversation is different. It is similar to a Choose Your Own Adventure book with someone else making the selections. People want to be known, and I am glad I could provide a taste of that as we traveled across town.
Darkness Versus Light:
Each city has pockets of sin. Places were Satan’s darkness has taken hold and there is little light. These locations are quickly made known to any rideshare driver. Anytime I enter one of these areas I pray. I pray for God to move among people who are far from Him. I pray that one of the local churches will gain influence among the establishment owners. I pray that the kingdom of light will advance on the stronghold of darkness. God is able to do amazing works in the lives of people and all the revivals in history started with prayer; so, I pray.
Your Friend With a Car:
When I first started driving, Lyft’s marketing tagline was, “Your Friend With a Car”. As technology has rapidly changed, we have more opportunities to communicate than ever before, but less community. We have more connections, but fewer friends. I embody the tagline for my passengers. I want them to feel like a friend is in the car with them. Loneliness is pervasive in our society. One of the best antidotes for loneliness is caring interaction with others. More times than I can think of, people have thanked me for a great conversation and for caring about what was going on with them. Friendliness goes a long way.
As I look back on the three-plus years of driving for Lyft, I am thankful for the opportunity to be a small part of God’s work in Denver. I have learned to ask better questions, care deeply, and listen to what others are saying. I look forward to what God is going to teach me as I coach and consult with Pastors and ministry leaders with Stay Forth Designs.