If you know me, you know I love coffee.
(And let the record stand that I loved coffee before loving coffee was cool. I started drinking coffee for a much nobler reason – I wanted to be exactly like my older sister in every way, shape, and form.)
There are people who see coffee as an art, a science. They know various brewing methods. They know intricacies of flavor. They travel all over the world to meet the farmers and walk through the fields.
I am not that person.
I love the coffee shop more than the coffee. AND OKAY YES I am addicted to coffee. If I don’t get it by midday, my head starts pounding something terrible. Worse, I become snippy and groggy and a generally unpleasant person. As someone who needs to be liked, being a generally unpleasant person is not something I can afford. (Unless I want to address the deeper character flaw of needing to be liked by everyone I meet, but that seems like a lot of effort, a whole thing, you know? So much work. Easier to just drink coffee, be generally pleasant, and brush that under a rug until it inevitably causes my future children to need excessive amounts of counseling.)
Yes, I’ve become addicted to coffee, but coffee has always been a means to an end: the coffee shop.
Coffee shops are these magical worlds where people live better. Look around next time you’re in one. People are working. They are writing and researching. They are editing photos and reading articles. People are doing homework and studying for finals and reading actual paper books. People are creating and growing and learning.
Some people are talking. They are catching up, sharing stories, bouncing ideas. People are chatting life, kids, business plans. Some people are interviewing, possibly launching careers they never expected.
People don’t come to coffee shops to spill inordinate amounts of food on their sweatpants while binge watching Gilmore Girls. (I don’t do that, obviously. Other people do, maybe, I’ve heard.)
People drink coffee for a variety reasons. Some people respect the science and the art. Some people simply enjoy the taste. Some people drink it because it’s a brief pause in an otherwise hectic day.
That’s the difference between drive-through and sit down. While I hurriedly drive through coffee shops to get caffeinated and stable before rushing into work or appointments, I sit in coffee shops to create and connect and do something… something worthwhile, something good, something new.
I suggest more sitting and creating and connecting in general, friends.
Let’s be coffee shop people. Let’s sit. Okay. Now, are you breathing? That’s probably a good first step. Now look around. People are doing cool things. Big things. Meaningful things.
Sometimes that stresses me out.
What’s my life passion?
What’s my goal?
What am I doing to better humanity? To make an impact?
Sometimes it’s hard to see the good in the world. Whether that’s because of the crazy people who are terrorizing humanity, the people who damage folks around them through words and whispers and Facebook posts, or the simply apathetic people who rush around us day after day without a question or a nod.
And other times I see so much good in the world, I end up feeling meaningless and useless in comparison. So many people are doing such amazing things. How can I ever measure up? How can I possibly ever do anything as cool or impactful as so-and-so?
I’m trying to get past those mentalities. I’m trying to sit in more coffee shops. I’m trying to observe, be energized, be influenced by these working, creating, connecting people instead of being intimidated by them. I’m trying to watch the (generally unpleasant) news with them in mind – the people who are trying. The people who are creating. The people who are working hard and making sacrifices for really good things.
Because we, humans, we’re not necessarily good. We’re really messy, actually. Even our best attempts at creating, enjoying, bringing goodness and light – even those attempts can get skewed and turn dark.
But Jesus is good. He’s light. He’s in charge. And He created us. And He created coffee.
So go sit in a coffee shop, metaphorical or otherwise. I’ll be waitin’ for ya.