So here I am, at a local coffee shop. Now most of the people that know me know that I don’t like coffee. So what am I drinking? Coffee.
I have been coming to this same coffee shop for the last 3 weeks for two reasons#1. To develop a taste for coffee by trying a different coffee drink each time Im here. #2. To build relationships with the locals. And guess what… it’s working!
Considering the cost of coffee ( relatively $5 per cup), I have had to budget for this expense. I have refigured some numbers around so that I can afford this new “hobby” without hurting my budget in other areas. Coffee and little pleasures are not an excuse for frivolous spending.
Most days I teach music lessons around the area, many times having some time between lessons to ” do something”, and not wanting to make the trip home,so I head on over to my favorite coffee spot.
You might ask, “Why spend all the money on coffee if you don’t have the natural crave for it?” Well, I hear it’s a taste that you can develop. How many times have you been somewhere that they offer only coffee? Tons of times! I am the only one in the room not enjoying a steaming cup of joe. And on cold mornings or windy days, it seems that there is nothing more pleasurable than the steaming coffee bringing warmth to your hands and your innerds.
Not only that, but it seems I have developed a habit of acquiring friends who are either barista’s ( coffee drink makers) at any one of the many coffee shops around the city OR they might as well be because they own all the equipment and regularly entertain with coffee being the main event at home gatherings. Thus, I want to relate to them even more. What is it about coffee that unites so many people? I want to experience the “dark, the nutty, the sweet, the bold’.. and whatever else there is.
Another aspect, and perhaps the most important is that underneath the cloak of my experiment is the opportunity to meet the locals and intertwine life, even if it is for just an hour or two, sitting in a comfy chair, sharing the same wi-fi connection and conversing over jobs, the latest news,sports and yes, even commonalities.
As I pull into my “regular” parking spot, my mind isn’t thinking about what coffee Im going to try. Im thinking ” I wonder if so and so is going to be working? I wonder how their situation is working out”.. OR,” Maybe I’ll see that same guy in the corner who always looks like he wants to talk, but isn’t quite ready to leave the comfort of the walls surrounding him. Maybe today is the day!” OR….” What’s her name?! I’ve got to remember her name because we’ve seen each other so many times and she needs to know someone is paying attention to her!” These are my thoughts. Purposeful, intentional thoughts.
The conversation and results of my experience thus far have been amazing. You know, one thing Im really learning is that there are a lot of good people out there. Good people that ARE NOT Christians. They listen to you, engage you in conversation, and can have many things in common with you. I have met musicians, adventure seekers, romantic novel readers, intelluctuals, self- employed business folk, and the list goes on. Somehow, coffee is uniting so much diversity… and I want to be in the middle of it!
So, is my goal to ” get these people saved?” NOPE! My goal is to build relationships with people from ALL walks of life. Of course I will not be bashful about my faith and passions, but if my life as a Christian doesn’t make them curious, if it doesn’t make them jealous for something MORE than what they already have,then I have to say… what’s the point? If you’re NOT making a difference by just being, then you’re not helping, and you might be hindering by trying all the “tricks in the book” to gather converts. LAME. No one wants to be preached to or used as another ” notch in your belt”.
Anyway.. Im excited about the people Im sharing life with, right here in this precious meeting place. These people are beautiful, smart, friendly and all share the enjoyment of sippin’ on something steamy.
Do I have anything to contribute? You bet..