Logan climbed into the back seat of my car for his Uber ride. “I have no idea where I am. I just met that woman last night.”
My First Rider Brought Conviction
Angelica’s fee increased with every second I sat outside her house waiting for her to come out. Eventually, she appeared at the side door, only to walk back into the house for something. Even from a distance, I could see her roll her eyes in frustration as the door closed behind her.
Angelica’s ride would be a short one–just a mile or two. I learned I was taking her to work. After a mutual greeting and a few moments of pleasantries, Angelica launched into a mild diatribe about the company for which she worked. Even after we arrived at her destination, Angelica continued complaining about her job for a minute or two before exhaling in frustration.
I handed Angelica a gospel tract and told her I would be praying for her today. She smiled. The look on her face told me she wasn’t expecting either the gospel tract or the prayer.
As I drove away, I came under conviction. I asked the Lord if I sounded to Him like Angelica when I complained–when I expressed my sinful lack of contentment. It was a rhetorical question and I wasn’t expecting an audible answer from my Lord. The answer to my question was this: “Lord, that must be how I sound. Please forgive me and help me to repent of my grumbling and complaining about some of life’s circumstances.”
Picking Up “Mac”
While en route to Angelica’s destination, I received the request from my next rider. My phone app told me to pick up Mac.
I followed the GPS directions to an area of town where the houses on the streets can be described as a mixed bag. All of the homes were probably 60-100 years old. Some were well-kept. Others, like the address in front of which I stopped, left me wondering if it was even habitable. Sitting on the front porch, with its very long legs extended to the first step below the porch, was a large, red Doberman Pinscher. Its eyes were locked on me as if it was daring me to step out of my car.
As I waited for Mac to step out of the house, a woman in a car pulled up alongside me.
“He’s down the road?” She said.
“Mac is down the road?” I asked.
“No. I’m Mac. Your rider, Logan, is at the house down the road. I don’t know why Uber gave you this address. I don’t live here.” She said.
“Is Logan waiting outside?” I asked.
“Yep,” she answered.
Mac smiled and drove away.
Logan Didn’t Know Where He Was
I slowly drove down the street. As soon as I headed downhill, I saw a young man walking along the side of the road, in my direction. We made eye contact. The young man lifted his thumb in the air as if he was hitchhiking.
Logan climbed into the back seat of my car.
“I have no idea where I am. I just met that woman last night.” Logan said.
Following the directions on my phone’s GPS, I headed toward our destination. It was a longer-than-usual drive. Logan and I would have at least 20 minutes together.
Logan and I made small-talk. I learned that he was from a suburb outside Chicago. He worked for a company that conducts maintenance on high electrical towers. He and his team were tasked with making repairs to a 270-foot tower just north of a large truck stop, off the I-80 highway.
Transitioning the Conversation
I got around to telling Logan that I moved my family from Southern California to Davenport, IA, about 2 1/2 years ago.
“Do you mind me asking why you did that?” Logan asked.
“Not at all. I get asked that a lot.” I replied.
I shared my story with Logan. “A church here in Davenport asked me to move my family to Iowa and continue the work of the ministry, here.”
“Wow! That’s great! Good for you!” Logan seemed genuinely excited.
Logan Grew Up in the Church
“I grew up going to church.” Logan shared.
Logan’s family attended a Southern Baptist Church. He remembers attending AWANA and memorizing Scripture verses. Now 23-years-old, he said he could still remember a few verses.
Logan’s parents, who were very active in the church, divorced when he was eight-years-old.
“The pastor didn’t like that my parents got divorced,” Logan said. I tried to listen to Logan as if an eight-year-old was telling me the story.
Logan soon lost interest in church and God.
“Lately, I’ve been thinking more about God and trying to decide what I believe.” Logan offered.
“What’s More Important, Logan?”
Logan thought aloud for a couple more minutes. When Logan paused his commentary, I asked a question I have asked a hundred, if not thousands of people.
“Logan, what do you think is more important–what we believe, or whether or not what we believe is true?” I asked.
“Wow. That’s a really good question. Could you ask it again?” Logan asked.
“Sure. What do you think is more important–what we believe, or whether or not what we believe is true?” I asked again.
Logan sat quietly for several moments. When it seemed Logan wasn’t sure how to answer, I offered some scenarios to make my point.
“Logan, I’m driving a Red RAV4. I could believe all I want that I’m driving a black Porsche, but this car will always be a RAV4. It doesn’t matter what I believe about my car. What matters is what is true about my car.
“I drive Uber a few hours a day for a little extra income and with the hope of having conversations like the one we’re having now. Needless to say, I’m not in it for the money. But what if I went to my bank this afternoon and told the teller I would like to withdraw the million dollars I made today driving for Uber?
“The teller gives me a funny look and then looks at my account balance. ‘Mr. Miano,” she says, ‘You have $89 in your account, not a million dollars.’
“I tell the confused teller that I really believe I have a million dollars in my account. Logan, is she going to give me a million dollars?” I ask.
“No.” He answered.
Logan, Like Everyone Else, Knows God Exists
“No, she won’t. It doesn’t matter what I believe about my bank account. What matters is what is true about my bank account.” I said. “Logan it doesn’t matter what you believe about God. What matters is whether or not what you believe about Him is true. And, Logan, you know the truth. You know God exists. You know the difference between right and wrong because God has written His law on your heart. He’s given you a conscience.”
He Knew Last Night Was Wrong
“Logan,” I continued, “You know the truth. You’ve probably heard the gospel before. You know what else? And I don’t care if telling you this costs me my driving privileges with Uber. I’m going to say it because I care about you as a fellow human being. You know last night was wrong. You know fornication and adultery are wrong. God has written these truths on your heart.”
“You’re right.” Logan agreed.
“Logan, Jesus said, ‘The truth will set you free,” I said.
“Where is that in the Bible?” Logan asked.
“It’s in John 8. John 8:32. In fact, if you look in the pouch behind my seat, you will find copies of the Gospel of John. Take one if you like.” I offered.
Logan took one of the booklets from the pouch.
“Thanks,” Logan said.
Taking Logan to Court
“Logan, have you ever been in a courtroom?” I asked.
“Plenty of times.” He answered with a roll of his eyes.
“Let’s say you were arrested and convicted of a crime. In your case, the crime carries with it the death penalty. The judge sentences you to death. Instead of 20 years of appeals, the judge orders you to be taken to an adjoining room where you’re going to be strapped to a gurney and put to sleep like a stray dog.
“But before you are taken away to die, the judge stands up from behind his bench. He takes off His robes of authority and steps down. He looks at you and says, ‘Logan, I rightly found you guilty and sentenced you to death. But I’m going to take your place. I’m going to fulfill the requirements of the law against you by dying the death you desire. Once I’ve done that, you will be free to go.’
“The judge walks into the next room, allows Himself to be strapped to a gurney, and is put to sleep like a stray dog. What would you think of a judge who did that for you, Logan?” I asked.
“That’s a picture of what Jesus did,” Logan answered.
“That’s right,” I agreed. I then articulated the gospel to Logan.
Logan Hates the Wrong Thing
I looked at Logan through my rearview mirror. There were tears in his eyes.
“But God showed his love for us . . .” I began.
“. . . In that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Logan finished the verse. It must have been one he remembered from his days in AWANA.
“I hate this,” Logan said.
“If it’s your sin you’re talking about, I don’t think you hate it enough. I think you hate the conviction you might be feeling right now. The fact is, Logan, right now you love yourself and you love your sin more than the God you know. Right now, you’re hating the wrong thing. You’re hating God instead of your sin.
“But God can change your heart, Logan. He can set you free. But you must come to God on His terms, for God does not negotiate with sinners. He commands you, just as He has commanded me, to repent and believe the gospel–to receive Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior.”
I pulled up to the front door of the hotel where Logan was meeting the rest of his team. It was just across the street from the truck stop.
All According to God’s Providence
Before Logan opened the car door, I grabbed a gospel tract and quickly wrote my name and phone number on it. I handed it to Logan with the offer to talk to him again, if he would ever like to.
“God has a reason for our meeting today. I hope for you it is that you will come to genuine repentance and faith in Jesus Christ. I’ll be praying for you.
Logan thanked me and we shook hands. He got out of my car and walked into the hotel. I drove away thanking God for the opportunity to share the gospel with Logan.
Join me in praying for his salvation.