I worked at Starbucks for almost 5 years and because of that, people think I’m a coffee snob. I’ve had my days of that but I’d like you all to know (or maybe I wouldn’t?) that I just drank coffee (folgers) that was left in the pot from yesterday – just warmed it up in the microwave. No big. I don’t like wasting. I don’t like spending lots of money. There is NOTHING coffee snobbish about any of that. I mean, I still really appreciate good coffee. But it’s no longer a top priority.
BUT there are things about my time working at Starbucks that will ALWAYS be a part of who I am. I learned about people at that place. All kinds. You might be aware that I could tell stories for hours – because you’ve probably listened to them – of crazies, of precious lonely elderly people who just want to talk to someone who cares, of millionaires, of homeless, of artists, of pro athletes, of Dallas Daughters and Divas, of sweet moms, of soccer dads, of business owners, of teachers, of authors, of “I’m too cool for school” teenagers, of Christians (the real Jesus following kind and the “I was born in TX so obviously I’m a Christian” type), of Muslims, of Hindus, of atheists, of agnostics, of Baha’i, of Sikh, of _________ (ALL kinds of people). If you want to study humanity (especially in the American form) – spend lots of time at sbux and learn to engage with every kind of person there. You’ll never be the same.
Recently, I’ve been thinking about one particular conversation I had in my Starbucks days. I’d like to tell you about it. I was talking to some dude (SD) and something I said made him ask…
SD: So, you’re really religious, huh?
ME: No. I’m not really religious… I don’t like religion. I just love Jesus.
SD: So, you’re a Christian?
ME: Yes. I guess I prefer to say, I follow Jesus… because the word Christian sometimes makes people think more of RELIGION and less of Jesus… But yeah, I’m a follower of Christ… a Christian.
SD: But you don’t think you’re religious?
ME: No. I think that Jesus taught that true Christianity is not about tradition or religion but about loving and knowing Jesus and being a part of His Body.
SD: Do you go to church every Sunday?
SD: Do you dress up?
ME: Kinda. Sometimes. Usually.
SD: Do you participate in traditions there?
ME: Yes. We do have some traditions. But it’s not ABOUT the traditions.
SD: Uh huh… Yeah, you’re religious… You just don’t know it.
As I remembered this conversation, I wondered… What if he was more right than I thought he was? What if I keep saying “Jesus taught that true Christianity is not about tradition or religion but about loving and knowing Jesus and being a part of His Body” but then I live like tradition and religion DO matter? What if some of what I’ve clung to is not actually Jesus himself and is distracting me, and people around me, from knowing and loving Jesus?
It’s an important “What if…?” to ask, I think.