Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Arriving Las Vegas

Arriving Las Vegas, last Saturday to work for 3 days, I call my cohort when I arrived at the airport. He is a comedian and was emceeing this event that I was directing and was waiting at the hotel.

He asked me if I had any idea what was going on at our hotel (The Palms). I said no. He replied - The AVN awards and I needed to get my butt to the hotel.Which I responded - "What is that?" It was the Adult Video News awards that night in our hotel and the place was crawling with porn stars. After a few "No ways" and snide remarks from him and possibly one or two by me, I hopped into a taxi to go meet him.

Now - I must derail by admitting that on the flight I had been reading Fulton Oursler's "The Greatest Faith Ever Known." Reading about the early days of Christianity and Paul's conversion, this book really takes you there. So I was feeling rather "connected" after reading for a couple of hours prior to my landing in Sin City.

So - my conversation with Greg, back at the hotel, led my mind down this hyper loaded path as I waited on a taxi at the airport. My brain was racing. Blood was surging. What does a hotel lobby full of porn stars look like? Is this was "hitting the jackpot" is all about?

I get into the taxi, with the usual third world driver and told him I was going to the Palms. Deciding to be more "forgiving" I wouldn't give him a hard time when he would probably jet us onto the interstate to gain more fare miles, rather than taking the local route that is $5 cheaper. To my surprise - he automatically took the local route. That never happens. Guess they're not all crooks.

Once we were on our way - my mind still wandering toward adult "distraction," the driver turned his radio on. He kept it low and directed to his side. As I listened - I heard the tones of Chris Tomlin singing "How Great is Our God, sing with me..." A chill ran up my spine. My surging blood stopped cold.

Mr. Baltic Russian Vegas Taxi Driver was listening to Christian radio! He turned it up a bit and peered in his rear view mirror in my direction.

Immediately, I was focused on How Great my God was and his whopping me upside the head on Swenson Ave. I have taken 2 million taxis in my life, all over the world, and how many times had I heard Christian radio? Only once - today.

I asked the driver - "So you listen to Christian Radio?" He replied, "The only thing." I asked what he was doing in Vegas. He responded in a thick accent - "God's work." I hushed.

When we arrived at the Hotel Gomorrah, he let me out and I gave him the extra five bucks that it would taken to go the long way and said "Thanks Brother." He knew what I meant.

With my holy blinders on - I checked in without temptation, without curiosity, but with plenty of compassion. There is a lot of work to be done in Las Vegas - I am glad my comrade was there to do it.

Moral - There are a lot of ways to make a living in this world. But only one way to salvation I suppose. Even if it's in a taxicab.

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