I couple weeks ago, I was waiting in line for my daily addiction, a cup of joe, at what is normally the fastest drive-thru in the city and one of the most consistent brews on a daily basis. How do I know this? I spent several years mystery shopping every location in the city, evaluating a long list of items, including drive-thru timing. Needless to say, I am fully aware of the ranges for everything from weight of the drink to timing in the drive-thru line. Unfortunately, this knowledge can cause me to become impatient with the slightest inconvenience.
Such was the case on this particular day. Not only did I wait too long to get to the drive-thru speaker, but I waited twice as long to turn the corner and arrive at the window where my luscious, double shot of caffeine with two raw sugars, easy on the foam would be placed into my hands, and I would take my first sip to make sure it was prepared correctly. Ahhhh………Yes, I love my coffee! I could feel my irritation rising as I waited, anticipating moving my car forward only to continue to wait and wait and wait. What on earth could be taking so long? There can’t be that many cars in front of me! How long does it take to make a cup of coffee? And yes, the questions kept rolling through my brain I am sorry to say.
Once I finally reached the window however, I did what every person should do in the same situation. I smiled, greeted the drive-thru attendant and asked her how she was. Truly I did 🙂 Although it was Monday morning, a day off, and I really did not have anywhere to be beyond satisfying a universal morning ritual. Wisdom has often saved me from making carnal mistakes, and it certainly did in this instance. For you see, after I received the receipt for my payment, the attendant leaned out the window, gave me a warm, friendly smile and said, “Here you go, this is on us for your patience during your long wait. Have a wonderful day!”
“Thank you so much!” I said, seriously surprised, slightly embarrassed and completely grateful for the gift wisdom had granted me in not making a fool of myself. Call me shallow, but the spontaneous and unexpected gift of a free coffee to begin my day set a positive tone for my entire day. I told everyone who was a part of my day about my free coffee, and those who shared my addiction also shared in my appreciation. That one simple act stayed with me the entire day and caused me to ponder how easy it is to surprise someone with even the smallest unexpected act of generosity to turn their day around.
With that thought in mind, I have also decided to begin addressing the part of my project that involves growing in favor with God and man along with continuing to grow in wisdom. My goal: to slip one moment into each week in which I do one simple act to set a positive tone to someone else’s day. In fact, I think I will name this a “Monday Morning Joe” and yes, that means I will create another special compartment in my Luke 2:52 Box in order to mark my progress. Surely it cannot be too difficult to look through my week, between work, being a neighbor, co-worker, wife, mother, in-law, aunt, sister, daughter, fellow roadway traveler, etc to find one opportunity in a week to surprise someone. It might be as simple as handing the turnpike attendant a pack of gum with my payment as I pass through a station instead of taking the pass-thru lane.
Who knows what a simple intentional and metaphorical free cup of coffee will do to give someone a boost of metaphorical caffeine to their day! If the outcome is anything like mine, it will be worth the creative effort involved.
Now, I think I need to go get another cup of Joe 🙂