It was a last minute decision to call for an Uber to drop me off at my local favorite coffee shop in Orlando, Fl at Vespr Craft Coffee House. I had my bike and helmut out and ready to go, when I realized, Oh my! It's going to be 96 degrees today. I have a job interview today near to the coffee shop. I don't want to rock running shoes today. I want to look like a lady who is not sweating profusely due to the humidity that is Orlando, Fl. So, I called for an Uber.
Uber Or Lyft? There are NO accidents or coincidences in Life!
My black BMW 3-series awaited my timely arrival. As I proceeded through the door to greet my Uber drive, he was already out of the car, headed over to the back passenger side to open my door. I was impressed with his level of customer service. I knew this was going to be a good experience; or so I hoped. As I scooted myself into the back seat, my backpack nearly trampled his Big "Good Book" That would be his bible. Either I was dealing with a Bible Thumper OR a scam artist; which is someone who uses the bible and God to take advantage of good people. Fortunately for both him and for me, he was simply a hard working father, husband, runner, network marketing guy and Christian. It's amazing how much you can learn about a person and yourself from a 6-minute ride in the back of a strangers car.
A little background about Uber car share?
Uber was founded in 2009. In only a short six year time period, Uber has risen to a $41 billion valuation, making it perhaps the fastest-growing company in the history of the World.
Uber began as a map on a smartphone, which connects a driver with a passenger based on GPS. It still really is that, with a very clever infrastructure on the back end. There are approximately 150,000 drivers worldwide, varying from Uber X drivers to Uber Black drivers; which is a more upscale newer vehicle - typically a BMW or Mercedes Benz.
I've been riding with Uber and Lyft for about four years now and I absolutely Love it. The people I meet and the stories I hear and share could not happen in any other environment. Growing up in Omaha, Ne - we had a tax-like service called Jitney's. These were old beat up cars that were barely running. You would call a number and typically an older African-American man or woman would arrive to take you to the grocery store or to Kmart. My recollection of a Jitney was always that the door handles of the cars were always broken or taped up with masking tape. I felt like I would never take one of these without my mother being present. The man appeared to have been drinking. IT just all seemed sketchy. However, when Uber and Lyft came onto the scene, I had just decided to give up my Jeep Wrangler. This was in 2012. I researched alternative transportation options. I learned about the zip car and thought this would be my mode of transportation, until I learned of Lyft first and then Uber around 2014. I had no reservation about getting into a strangers car; as I live by Faith and the ability to discern if a situation feels sketchy. I also rarely take an Uber or Lyft after a certain time of the day; mainly in the evening hours. In the beginning, I would text a close friend the name, make, model and telephone number of my Uber driver.
When my Uber driver arrived this morning, he felt safe. Whatever that means. I'm sure the women who got into the car with Ted Bundy thought he, too, felt safe. lol. I quickly learned that this 50-something year old looking man was a Christian, father, husband and a runner. He is also a man who has, at times, bought lunch for a homeless person in need. He caught my attention when he shared with me that he rises at 3:00AM to run 10 miles as his way of spending time with God. Wow! I knew that I was supposed to hear this; as I've been having a challenging time rising before 6:00am to run. Mainly due to the fear of running outdoors in the dark hours, as a woman. Secondly - I like to sleep. Although I am a morning person - the thought of only getting 5-6 hours asleep frustrates me. This experience with my Uber driver this morning confirmed something I have been thinking about for months; which is a good way for me to run and pray for the Health and Happiness of others with my Run...PRAY...Heal Faith-Based Movement, is to rise prior to the extreme heat and humidity of Orlando and to spend quality and quiet time with God - is to get up and just do it. So, I am going to take baby steps towards being out the front door by 5am; as the sun is at least coming up; which will give me that false sense of safety and security that I need to get me out of the door.
There are are NO accidents OR coincidence!
I am exactly where I'm supposed to be to get the messages and the lessons that I am supposed to receive at this time in my life. For that - I am Grateful. I am also grateful that I remain open to having new experiences and connecting with strangers who are quickly becoming friends. I've been told my several of my Uber and even Lyft drivers here in the Orlando area that they can tell I'm not from here; because I talk. I make an effort to converse and connect with people. At the end of those rides, I am better for it. Thank you Spirit for putting me in the right place at the right time. My Uber driver left me with this little nugget this morning; which is, "When you go out to run in the wee hours of the morning and it's dark and you're feeling a little uncertain - ask and rely on the presence of God to be with you along our journey."
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