Ask anybody who knows me: I'm a coffee drinker. As such, I must confess that for the past several years, 3-4 times a week I've visited a national coffee shop chain on my way to work. Their store is convenient and consistently offers up my favorite beverage, hot and perfect.
However, a few months ago while waiting for the barista to whip up my order, a poster on the wall caught my eye. It was somewhat obscure, but it sure suggested the company's world view: sexual diversity wrapped in anti-Biblical terms, global awareness bordering on earth worship, and idolatry of their product brazenly encouraging a "you deserve this!" mentality.
Right then I knew the time had come for us to part ways. In good conscience I could no longer financially support behavior that grieves the heart of God. Amazingly, that day I went cold turkey with this coffee chain.
It was a private decision, and one that I didn't necessarily advertise. Just a simple act of obedience that I was personally called to take. What I didn't know was the avalanche of blessing I was about to receive.
The owner, too, noticed my morning visits to her shop. On one occasion I stopped by much later than normal. "Change of schedule?" she asked. I hesitated, but offered, "Well, every Wednesday morning a group of us moms gather to pray for the kids at our high school." "Whoa, really?? Moms get together and do that?" "Yeah," I answered, "pretty cool, huh?" "That's awesome! I've never heard of that." The following Wednesday I arrived just as she was training a new employee. "Hey, Josh - get this -- this lady here goes to a prayer group at her school every week just to pray for her kids. Isn't that neat?" 16-yr-old Josh smiled and shrugged. I couldn't believe she remembered our brief conversation.
Relationships with that staff continue to build. I learned that the owner's house burned down in our wildfires this summer; I've met Brett who's going on a mission trip to South Africa next Spring. Yesterday Alec was pleased to tell me he got a raise because he had impressed the boss by memorizing my complicated latte order (Uh, I think that's a compliment...), and just this morning Ashley shyly admitted that she's nervous about her college Psychology final today. I gave her a hug and told her I'd be praying.
And finally, there's the precious young woman with the pentagram tattooed on her chest who always has crude MTV videos playing in the background. I assumed we had little in common, but when I dropped by recently during her shift she exclaimed, "Hey, where have you BEEN?? I haven't seen you in ages!" Wow, really? She noticed and cares? Forgive me, Lord, for overlooking her. You certainly don't.
Real people. Real life. Souls I would've missed had I resisted that tug from God. I'd been so focused on what I couldn't have any more (convenient, perfectly-made coffee), that I nearly missed out on what was right in front of me.
What's the Lord been prompting you to change in your life? It's likely there's a far greater outcome awaiting you on the other side. Give it a try. Who knows -maybe you are just the person the Lord's been trying to send someone else's way. Come on...it's time to share the adventure!