I hopped into my first cab ride, on my first New York trip, with my first experience of the hustle and bustle of that crazy place. I loved it. I made it a goal that I would spread shine in New York City by getting to know the people who surrounded me. I ended up learning the life stories of my drivers while I was there.
Every time I asked the drivers about their day, they were shocked. It was as if this human interaction was not normal and, actually, that I might be absurd for caring. At first, they would be hesitant. They kept the talk small and I could tell they would only keep talking if I was engaging them to speak. It made me sad and worried about the emptiness they must feel every day, passing thousands of people but never speaking with them. When did we all disconnect ourselves from each other so much?
On one particular cab ride, I met Abraham. When I asked how his day was he said, "fine. just like any other." He told me he's been driving taxis for 16 years. He started driving to pay the bills, and because money is consistent, he never left. And because he never left he got sucked into this life that he never would have chosen for himself. Abe dreams of being a pastor. He wants to lead people to God. I asked him what the craziest thing was that he has experienced as a cab driver. He told me that last week a guy got into his car just crying. The night before, he had tried to kill himself, but didn't have the guts to do it. Abraham spent the drive talking to him, consoling him and trying to explain God's love and that sometimes you just have to live through the storm, and then it ends. Abraham doesn't know what happened to the man when he left, but that he is able to help people who are in bad situations when they sit in his car.
I said, "Abe! You might not be a pastor yet, but you're a pastor in your own way. God is using you to speak and help people who wouldn't usually find themselves sitting in a church… and those are the best kind of people to help. You, actually, are living your dream."
He thought about it for a second, and said "maybe you're right."
I'm learning that sometimes our plans might look a little different than we first thought they would, but that they're still happening. And if we look closely, we can find ways to accomplish what we dream of doing as we go about our normal days. A lot of feeling fulfilled in our own lives involves helping others be fulfilled in their lives. Meet people, and if you're unsatisfied with where you are in life, come up with small ways you can start changing that. Look for the "cab opportunities" where someone is sent your way, and it's up to you to find out why and have a moment of purpose.