Making the World a Better Place, One Coffee at a Time
So being a janitor was Smitty’s divine purpose?
His divine purpose was to be a light for troubled teens. He combined it with his need for clean and ran with it. That’s the true path to happiness and joy. Do the best possible with the natural skills and talents I have given you. Look for ways to make the world a better place. It is a simple way to live, but when you do, you can’t help but whistle.
page 83, The Promise, by Darlene Gudrie Butts
I had two experiences going through the Tim Horton’s drive through in the past couple of weeks. The first one started with a honey sweet voice that sang over the intercom as soon as I pulled up, “Welcome to Tim Horton’s, Hon. What can I getcha?” I gave my order and after receiving my total pulled up to the next window. I saw the smile first, big, toothy, genuine. I actually think I felt it before I even saw her face. “How you doing on this glorious evening?” she continued as she handed over my drink. We made small talk but it seemed like a conversation I would have with a neighbor or friend. It was only seconds, but the echo of enjoy drove away with me and stayed in the car for a while.
The second visit started with a delay at the speaker then a robotic, “Welcome to Tim Horton’s. Would you like to try a sixteen cent danish today?” The voice can across flat, uninterested, with a slight hint of please say no. My order was given and the reply came back, “Drive ahead for your total.” When I drove up, no one was at the window. I could see three of them standing by the shelves of donuts talking. I waited, maybe ten or twenty seconds and one of them lumbered over. I recognized her without a word spoken. Trying to bring light into the world, I joked about having to stumble over the sixteen cent danish deal multiple times in a shift. The light was snuffed and the answer came back clipped and snarky, “It isn’t the only dumb thing we have to do around here, believe me.”
Same order, same drive thru, totally different experience.
Do I believe it is because one is serving their divine purpose by being a Tim Horton’s drive thru attendant and the other isn’t? No. I have never met anyone who’s dream profession was working at Tim Horton’s. It is usually a stop over or a stop gap kind of job. I do think the experience was because one relished in her divine purpose of serving others and made a conscious effort to do it regardless of position or current circumstances. It reminds me of the expression to “bloom where you are planted”, to do your best, treat others to the best experience, whether you are in the position you truly want or not. Smitty, the high school janitor in The Promise, did the same.
The first experience was a joy and lingered with me long after the tea got cold. The second dampened my mood and I had to work to realign my spirit back to happy or the soot from her displeasure would have stained the rest of my day.
We have the power to do that with each and every encounter. We can bathe others in love and light and lift them up or we can dampen their spirit with the gray of our own.
The woman who greeted me with such warmth and grace may never see me again. But, I will remember her and try to pass on her light, her love. She may never know how far the ripples of her grace will travel, as her light lit mine, spilled over, and tipped to light another. But God does. And, I think he is whistling just thinking about it.
For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light.
Ephesians 5:8 (NIV)
Many are the plans in a person’s heart,
but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.
Proverbs 19:21 (NIV)
For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me.
John 6:38 (NIV)
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)
(Just for the record, one of my very favorite scriptures. Can’t you just feel this one?)