Spilled Salt: A Cup of Coffee

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By Adam Van Dop

I am frequent user of caffeine. My caffeine flavour of choice is Tim Horton’s coffee, a large with two sugars. Because of this, I am in Tim Horton’s restaurants (if you can call them that …) a fair bit. The other day, I was buying some Tim Cards for some special people, and was working with the manager to get it all sorted out. 
 
At one point, an employee came and told the manager that this customer had come back after receiving a second cup of coffee (on the house) that was apparently “not Tim Horton’s coffee.” The manager just shook her head, muttered sarcastically something under her breath about customers always being right. 
 
Within moments the customer approached the manager, right in front of me. She outright said it, “This was not Tim Horton’s coffee. It was a cup of some other brand. I want my money back.” The manager then pulled up a package of coffee grinds, clearly labelled “Tim Horton’s fine grind coffee” and told the customer, “This is the only coffee we have here, that’s it, no other kind; I’m not giving your money back.” The customer didn’t back down, and was convinced that they were right. The manager then in frustration, as well as noting my disbelief of the situation, opened her till, grabbed our some change, tossed it on the counter, and told the customer to have a nice day. The customer took the change, smiled and turned back to her friend who was laughing, and they proceeded to walk out – with no coffee. As I watched this pan out, I couldn’t believe it. Sure, I’ve had a cup of coffee from there that perhaps wasn’t the freshest – but it still tasted like their coffee.

I started thinking about this incident this morning, and I started thinking about how God has created us all who we are, and how often we want to be something we’re not, or something that we’re not supposed to be. For example, I always wish that I was this ripped guy, with no flab, who was always in shape. I’m starting to think that is far from my purpose in life.

But seriously, back when I came out of high school I had this dream of getting into business. There was this guy where I worked that had been hired to come in and “fix” the company. This guy was paid a six figure salary, had homes in California, Florida, and here in BC. He had nice cars and wore immaculate clothing. People inherently respected him. I wanted to be him.

So I quit my job as a shipping supervisor, and pursued a Business degree. It turns out that I didn’t have the greatest grades in the world to get into such program, so I had to go through some round-about way through summer sessions at the school to get into the program. I did great in these courses. I learnt a tonne, and I started to get more excited about the possibility of being ‘that guy’!

It was during that particular summer that God came and told me I was trying to be something I was not. He then called me to ministry. I wanted to return my life at that point, I wanted to tell God “this isn’t what I ordered, you messed up, you didn’t give me what I planned on getting.”

Ouch.

God had a plan for me. A plan I didn’t see as so perfect until the last couple years. Now here I sit, I am a youth pastor for an amazing group of youth with an amazing leadership team, working with another pastor who is a delight to work with. I’m sitting here in my office, writing this, living a life that God had called me to live. I wouldn’t trade it for the world, or for a six-figure salary (although, if the church was to offer it, I’m sure I could accept …)

The Tim Horton’s staff knew that they made the coffee right, there’s only one way to make it. Perhaps this customer had just had a bad taste in their mouth that ruined the coffee taste. Either way, their expectations were not met. This customer got their money back, and walked out with some sense of accomplishment.

Not the way God works.

He doesn’t give refunds on your life, because what he gives you is perfect, designed for you and you only. James writes, “Do not be deceived, my beloved brothers. Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. Of his own will he brought us forth by the word of truth, that we should be a kind of first fruits of his creatures.” (James 1:16-18 | ESV).

So when you place your next order, may you place the order of God’s will be done, and accept graciously what comes your way.  

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