I heard Henry Cloud, Psychologist and co-author of the best seller Boundaries, say recently in an interview that his current focus was on having conversations around faith with each Uber driver he encountered.
Back in April, John and I took a trip to Chicago. Upon landing, we were welcomed out front of the airport by the Uber driver we had been assigned. He greeted us kindly, helped us with our bags, and then we all loaded up in his car. He was pretty chatty and within a few minutes of our ride, he told us he was an aspiring rapper and without hesitation cranked up the music and started freestyling.
Admittedly, I was a bit taken aback. What was happening was both uncomfortably entertaining and equally fascinating. This guy was good. Really good. Once the beat slowed and he finished his lyrics, questions started being asked. Because the words he rapped about told a heavy story. And we all wanted to know more.
Gangs, drugs, sex, and jail were all a part of this guy's past. He didn't spare a detail about his former life; he was transparent to a fault. As I sat there and tried to process what I was hearing and experiencing, part of me wanted to open the door and roll out of that car as fast as possible but the other part of me was cheering him on.
I was cheering him on because his story was one with a beautiful arc. It was one that had been birthed in complete darkness but slowly was coming into the light. He was tired of his old life and was doing all he knew to do to make good on the future.
His way out of the shadows his past was casting was through working every legit side job possible and then pursuing music non stop in his free time.
As we neared our destination, he told us he had a child and a wife whom he was now separated from. He confessed he and his wife were at a crossroads about his pursuit of a music career- because the words he rapped about ushered him into environments that brought him face to face with his past. And while he was determined to not return to that old way of life, his family feared he was playing with fire.
His father-in-law was a pastor. His wife was religious and he believed too.
As he pulled into the hotel's drop off area, he spoke out loud: "But God will have to wait"...Right now, I have to pursue these things, these topics, these atmospheres, in order to make it. And once I am there, then I will get right. Then I will come back.
As he was speaking every internal radar was going off within. Say something. You have lived this thought pattern he is embracing and you know it does not work. Speak up.
I'd like to tell you I too embraced Henry Cloud's goal and listened to that internal nudge to say something to the driver; to have asked some more questions about his faith.
But I did not. And the moment I shut his car door, I knew I should have spoken up.
I used to think God would wait on me while I went and did whatever it was I wanted to do.
The thing is, God will wait. He is insanely patient with us. But when you pursue a life with the mentality of: I know better, but I am going to do it anyway, and then once the doing is done I will get right. It won't end well.
Is it redeemable?
Will God still be there on the other side of that pursuit?
But in the interim, there will be a hell of a lot of consequences, heart break, and regret.
For the remainder of our trip and even now, almost 5 months later, I keep thinking about this day. I keep thinking about how I missed an opportunity to speak and relate. And I keep hoping that sometime soon I'll get another shot at sharing a conversation around faith with an Uber driver.
Touche', Henry Cloud. Touche'.