Pensive is how a friend described me many years ago. It’s a deep introspective word, and it is a weakness of mine. I turn inward, trying to find the appropriate response, the accurate word, or the way to be correct. I’ve struggled all my life to be right, appropriate, accurate…. adequate. Measuring my responses, guarding my attempts, and limiting the risks I took became my filters before I’d step out. And yet, when I didn’t really think about things, I was good at many things. I can design things, I can build, I can create (thanks to Legos). I enjoy talking with people, I can relate to many different age and culture groups. I learn quickly, learned to take good notes, and found sharing those notes helps teach others in their areas of interest. And still, there are some who I feel give a disapproving stare, and those seem to be the ones from whom I sought the approval; I felt broken.
On a recent trip, my wife and I came across the little town of Lowell, Arizona. Everything was so old, it was cool, or was it keen(?). Everything on Main Street was restored, polished, and shined; the result of hours of passionate work, focused attention, and detailed planning. The whole town participated in putting on the ruse of a different era.
The motorcycle shop sported several vintage bikes on the front curb; but, the bikes that showed “potential” were parked around the corner in the back alley shop. These bikes were at various stages of being restored; each bike showed the diligent plans of the master. These bikes did not “fit” on main street, yet. I found myself more fascinated with the projects in progress than the finished products on the main drag.
In a human sense, I’ve been privileged to serve in many areas; I’ve trained others to improve their skills, I’ve taught some how to study, I’ve facilitated discussions to reveal previously unseen opportunities, and I have done what needed to be done. But it’s funny, I still feel there are days that I am one of the motorcycles in the back alley shop, in need of so much attention from the Master Builder, that I cannot, make it to main street, ever. And yet, somehow, I am not sure if main street is where I shine. Truth be told, I like getting my hands greasy, I like helping others become who they were meant to be, I like the shop; a helper, but a bit of a project myself
Of course, working with people is way different than working on machines, but when the Creator touches the life of the creation, there is beauty; shining beyond conditions, circumstances, or the situation.
We love having a front row seat to see how God changes lives, we love walking beside some one who realizes their giftings and abilities, we also love encouraging people in difficult situations. Viktor Frankl demonstrates to us that our surroundings do not determine our success, our attitude does. Frankl was a well trained man, who ended up laying railroad beds as a prisoner; yet he helped others as he went, he encouraged others in their bleak situation.
2017 will bring many adventures to Kathy and I, one of which is an international encouragement organization called, Looks Like Coffee; it’s a place where friends meet, its an encouraging environment where ideas are colored, a place where weary souls are strengthened and lifted. Looks Like Coffee can BE anywhere, thanks to technology, but works best if we can come to you. We simply offer time, and to listen… then we make it up as we go, together. Looks Like Coffee flows from the heart of who Kathy and I are, is based from our relationships, and will run on donations or service agreements.
As we set out on this new venture, we’d love to hear your story of becoming, we’d love to sit and talk about who you have been created to to be, and we’d love to hear your ideas.
image thanks to:
Pink Sherbet Photography (https://www.pinterest.com/pin/5559199515495515/)