If you were to ask my wife what is the one thing that I can not live without (Excluding Jesus and her of course), she would emphatically tell you “coffee!” I am a coffee junkie. To me coffee is my water. I believe that GOD made Adam and Eve and when they had children he introduced them to the coffee bean. Because of my infatuation or better yet, need for coffee, I find myself inside coffee shops many times throughout the week. My usual routine when ordering coffee is pulling up the app on my phone, ordering my coffee, and then sitting inside on a nice comfy couch waiting to hear my name called. In the moments between ordering and picking up my amazingness, I typically just scroll through the news feed on my phone or text my wife back and forth. A few weeks ago GOD called my attention to the other patrons enjoying their cup of joe. As I scanned the room, I observed about 75% of the room either looking at their phone, iPad, or some sort of tech device. The other 25% were either in line or sitting with another person. I couldn’t help but think how connected we are online, but how disconnected we are in the real world. Coffee shops were meant for communion with friends, family, or complete strangers. A place to go and enjoy conversation and purposeful interaction with other physical human beings. I felt very misplaced at that moment. How many times have I slipped onto my comfy couch, immediately pulled out my cell phone or computer, and focused my attention to the bright light radiating from my screen. Who have I missed? What lonely individual had come looking for coffee just like myself, but needed to hear a simple “hello” or “how are you?” How many times have I stood in line without even noticing the person behind me or the name on the tag of the barista taking my order. “This will stop today,” I emphatically declared. No more missing the world going on around me for the world that is in my pocket. From that moment on, my aim is to not just be in the moment, but to thrive in the moment. I want to see eye color and pay attention to name tags. I want to hear someone’s voice and recognize the emotion behind it. I want to get out of my little world and see the world that GOD has divinely ordained around me.
Jesus is the perfect example of someone who connected with the people around Him and through those connections He was able to offer hope, healing, and salvation. One of my favorite stories about Jesus is more of a transition than a story. It’s a transition in Jesus life, but He used it as a great opportunity for intimate connection. In the last few verses of John 8, Jesus is having a pretty heated discussion with the religious leaders of the day presenting Himself as The Christ. The leaders in turn became very angry and picked up stones to kill Jesus, but Jesus just concealed Himself and left the temple where He had been teaching. Chapter 9 starts with this verse:
“Afterward, as Jesus walked down the street, he noticed a man blind from birth.” John 9:1 TPT
Afterward. After the heated discussion where the religious leaders tried to kill Jesus. Afterward. Jesus had just exchanged one of the most prominent examples to the Jews that He was not only The Christ, but that He existed with GOD from the very beginning. I am sure that emotions were running high for Jesus, the religious leaders, and His disciples, but Jesus didn’t dwell on what just happened. As He walked down the street He noticed a man blind from birth. Jesus was always looking for connections. Always looking for someone He could encourage or speak life into. There was never a wasted moment in the life of Jesus. If Jesus ministry was happening today, He would ignore the constant vibrating of His cell phone to connect with that person who is sitting alone at dinner. The rest of chapter 9 is an incredible story of the healing of this man who was born blind and the glory of GOD that was shown that day in Jerusalem. The same day that Jesus was in an emotional heated conversation with the religious leaders. The same day those same religious leaders tried to kill Him. That same day He noticed a man born blind and stopped everything to show the everlasting love of GOD. My question to you and myself is how can we be more like Jesus in our transitions? When life is busy and we are running from one place to the next, how can we slow down enough to notice? Let us not be people who are defined by the cross around our necks or the place we go on Sunday, but let us be defined by the actions we take in the transitions and the love that we show in the busyness of our day. My declaration will be this:
I will be more purposeful and intentional with my daily interactions—wether that’s with my wife, kids, family, or a complete stranger. I will take Jesus into every interaction, every conversation, every insignificant moment and let His grace and mercy move through me.
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