I like going to coffee shops. I really do. And, more, I like going to them when they can ask me, “Do you want the usual?” and I can chat with the folks in the pews…I mean seats. It’s about conversation. It’s about community. And, yes, it’s about coffee.
Well, today I had a wonderful, hour-long conversation with a gentleman about life or, (perhaps as Douglas Adams puts it) “Life, The Universe, and Everything.” We talked at length about how so many people go through life without building anything up…only tearing things and people down. We talked about how our economic system has made so much of life complicated as many of us don’t have a “work of our hands” to show for our days of labor. We talked about all of the “stuff” that we fill our lives with and how it makes life more complicated for us and tears us away from relationships.
He shared about living out of a truck for 10 years so he could save money for his son. I shared the feeling of getting close to a completed church building and being able to point to it like a kid with an art project he has brought home….”Look what I made.” Now, I know God made it and I know a lot of supporting churches put time and labor and money into it and I really know that, at times, I was chief cheerleader and not really chief carpenter. But, I have a sense of accomplishment. A lot of my time, energy and passion has gone into it.
We talked about “The unreflected life not being worth living” and how “life happens” to us as we age.
But we need, with God’s help, to determine what it is that we care about and will work for and invest in.
The poet Mary Oliver said,
“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”
Bill George, of the Harvard Business School faculty, asks each of us
have you “discovered your true north”?
This coming Sunday I’ll be preaching, again, the first sermon I ever preached. It’s on James 2:14-26 and titled “Faith and Works, Works and Faith.” Julie found it a couple of weeks ago and I’ve re-read it. It still sounds like me. Or, rather, I still sound like it. I’ve grown a lot since then. A lot of life under the bridge. But, that was a time for me that God was revealing to me what my “true north” was to be. God was giving me the “plan” for my “one wild and precious life.”
What plan does God have for you? What do you want to be when you grow up? Sometimes, if you go to a coffee shop, you’ll find out.