Driven by the Spirit
October 1994

“Driven by the Spirit,” Ensign, Oct. 1994, 64–65

Driven by the Spirit

For years, I drove my taxicab solely for the money I could make. I drove for the mortgage, the car payment, the groceries, and the doctor bills. Then came a hot, dry day in July when hundreds of people needed cabs to the airport after a convention. I worked as fast as I could, and I made good money. Worn out, I stopped at a convenience store to get some ice water.

On my way inside, I passed a man who was sitting against the wall. He looked young, but his hair was long and dirty and his clothes were filthy and tattered. When his eyes met mine, they looked hollow and empty.

The Spirit prompted me to help him. I paused, thinking that any money I gave him would probably go toward tobacco or liquor. I gave him a coin.

The prompting came even more strongly, however, so on my way out I gave him a more sizable donation from my day’s profits. That was the beginning of the softening of my heart.

On a subsequent cold night, I picked up a young couple at a grocery store. “Take us as far as three dollars will go, and we’ll walk from there,” the man said. “I don’t get my unemployment check for another week.”

When the meter hit $2.95, I reached over and turned it off. Would the Lord have left them to walk the other half of their way home with heavy groceries? After I helped the husband carry in the groceries, the wife brought me a sandwich, my most delicious tip ever.

Another night a young woman at a convenience store gave me a faint wave as I cruised by. I made a U-turn and pulled up beside her. “Taxi?” I asked.

She told me the address, then said, “I need to get home, but I don’t even have money to call my dad.” Her voice was quavering. She was very young, perhaps fourteen or fifteen.

I felt the prompting. “Get in,” I told her. “You’re right on my way. No charge.”

As we drove to her home, she told me that she had been out with some friends. Some of the boys started getting out of hand, so she insisted that they let her off at the corner. “I prayed for help,” she said, “and then you stopped.”

Nephi said, “And I was led by the Spirit, not knowing beforehand the things which I should do” (1 Ne. 4:6).

When I apply that scripture to myself, I interpret it to read, “And I was driven by the Spirit …”

  • James J. Walker serves as an assistant executive secretary in the Sharon Park Second Ward, Orem Utah Sharon Park Stake.