Bob Gersztyn's picture
05.19.2008 | Comments(9)

Where Would You Like To Go?

There’s a sign outside the taxi office where I go every day to sign in. NOW HIRING DRIVERS, it reads. It’s a permanent sign. They would probably hire you, for example, if you were to show up and say you wanted to drive a cab. It’s not a finicky profession. There are people they won’t hire, of course. There are laws about those sorts of things. But not many.

In 2004, forty years after I found Christ, I answered the call of that sign.

HPNC Staff

The staff of Highland Park Neighborhood Foursquare Church in 1976:

Bob Gersztyn, church secretary Diana Hirter,

senior pastor Mark Ballard, pastor Robert Flores.

I had just quit my job at the Post Office. It was the third time I’d quit my job at the Post Office, and then I ended up being a lifer after all. When I tried to leave the P.O. the first time, in 1976, I thought it was to answer God’s call. I became an Associate Pastor at the Highland Park Neighborhood Foursquare Church, in the Los Angeles inner city. I booked concerts, produced multi-media shows, coordinated Sunday School and training of all kinds–I was less than a pastor but more than a mere employee, sort of a jack-of-all-trades for the 150-member congregation.

I very much wanted to be a pastor, and I was convinced that’s what God wanted. I had graduated from Bible College, got myself licensed and ordained, and that church was where I was supposed to get a direction for my pastoral career. But God had something else in mind. By 1981 it had started to fall apart. By 1984 I was putting in a new application at the Post Office, where I would stay for 20 years.

This time, though, when I quit, I knew I would never go back. Then one day I drove past the sign on the building downtown: NOW HIRING DRIVERS.

I didn’t know it was a permanent sign. I had just bought a used car, a yellow Chevette. I drove it into the Yellow Cab taxi yard to get an application. As the boss handed me one, he said, “On slow nights you can write that book you’ve been working on.” I thought that was odd. He didn’t know I was a writer. Then I thought, Oh, right, he says that to everyone, because everyone who drives a taxi thinks he’s a writer.


And as I sat in my yellow car filling out the forms, I looked around me, and saw long rows of Yellow Cabs. They were all alike. They had all answered the NOW HIRING DRIVERS sign. They had all thought, “Here’s something to do before I start my real job, or after my real job is over.” Suddenly tears flowed down my cheeks. The yellow of my car matched the yellow of theirs–my garment was already the right color. I realized that this was a call, too. I was one of the servants in the marriage parable, in Matthew 22, and was commanded with the other servants to go out "into the highways and as many as ye shall find, bid to the marriage. Both bad and good."


UNCLE KENNY | 10:15 am on 6/23/2008


I think you are going to lead a much more adventurous life there than you would have been as an errand boy in ministry. I look forward to reading your stuff.

Debby Hill | 01:51 pm on 7/19/2009

Hi Bob,
I was reminising and found your page. I use to go to the Foresquare in H.P. bout a hundred years ago. Do you know where Pastor Mark is now? How about Patty Lawerence?

taximan | 02:02 am on 2/15/2010

Hi: Debby. Email me at if you get this.


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NeilWechsler | 12:07 pm on 2/06/2011

It is weird to find out that your destiny is to be a cab driver. It would have been amusing to have the only non yellow car, though I think that with a champion air compressor the problem would have been solve fairly easy. I am curious how this job is working for you. Maybe in another post.

meet single online | 12:02 am on 3/02/2011

That is why it is very essential to know ones calling. Sometimes, we wait endlessly unto the god to speak to us. When we are out of spirit, we start dithering from the goal and get involved in those professions to which are not called for. It is an inspiring post.

Eviction Letter | 10:11 am on 4/15/2011

I am really impressed by the true witness of changed heart and mind. The greatest miracle in the world is the change of mind. Unless I have a mind to return to the lord, nothing great is going to happen with me. However, god waits for every one to return. Thanks for the inspiring post.

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