Archive - November, 2009

Coffee House Dream

My friend Mary has a blog called “Chasing Dreams… Rabbits… and Pigeons.” She writes about big plans that may or may not ever become reality. See, Mary and I are similar. We are both great big dreamers; we come up with a new plan for our lives on a daily basis. Mostly, these goals will fall by the wayside, because they are big, big plans that would take much effort, much charisma, and much money to pull off.

I have always been this way. Just ask my mom, or my sister–both tend to roll their eyes when I tell them of a new plan to travel the world, start a business, or run a marathon. They know that next week I’ll have a new dream and the current one will fade away. While this never achieving used to bother me a little, I have learned that dreaming is a part of me, and while I may never achieve some of my crazy little goals, a few do make it to reality.
For example, I once got an idea to study abroad. I don’t know why I thought to do this. I just decided one day that I would like to study English in England, and not just anywhere in England–I wanted to study at Oxford University. I’m pretty sure everyone that knew me, including myself, thought this was just another one of my ideas. I even remember thinking, on the day my parents purchased a very expensive plane ticket, “I guess I can’t back out now. This is really happening.” And I didn’t back out. I really did study English in England. I was on the rowing crew (another “crazy” goal that started as a joke with my roommates at Union), I walked where Shakespeare walked, I was inspired by the same meadows and rivers that inspired Lord of the Rings and Narnia and Wonderland. Amazing. And it started as a silly idea.
I have another dream that I think may be my most insane. It is definitely the largest, spanning the entire globe, costing millions of dollars, and requiring a lot of very specific knowledge. But I think “it just might work.” I refer to it as the “coffee house dream.”
This particular dream has a long, detailed history. Maybe I’ll write about it later. For now, here’s the bones:
Missional coffee houses catering to the oft-forgotten wealthy intellectuals in big university towns (think Ivy League, Oxbridge, etc.) getting their coffee and tea from partner plantations in third-world countries. The idea is that the coffee is missional on both ends–one, it allows a village in struggling area to have jobs, get medical care, education, and most importantly, to learn of a God who loves them; two, those who drink the coffee will be made aware of its origins and those who grow it; and three, the coffee house itself will be a home for conversation, relationships, and ideas, the hope being that evangelism will be made possible over a cup of coffee and a homemade scone.
So there it is. I have high hopes for this one.
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Lost Love

The other day, as I turned onto a narrow road hoping to avoid a particularly congested area of town, I realized that I do not mind getting lost. In fact, I kind of love it. There are two exceptions to this: 1) if I am late and 2) if it is in a dangerous area at night. Other than those two exceptions, I enjoy being lost.

I like the adventure of not knowing for sure if I will end up where I intend on going. I like learning new ways to get somewhere and I like getting to see things that I might normally bypass all together. I also really enjoy jamming out to some music with my windows rolled down.
This realization got me thinking about how I have sort of been lost the past couple of years. Most of my friends took the roads that they knew would get them exactly where they wanted to be. They took jobs to earn an income, went to medical school to become a doctor, got married to become a wife and mother, etc. I, on the other hand, did not. And like the sadly cliched poet, I, I took the road less travelled by.
So, I’ve been wandering on roads called Camp and Unemployment and Singleness for the past two years, trying to figure out if these roads will ever lead me to my goal, which has gotten a bit more hazy as the years have passed. Despite all the bad things that have come with taking this route, I’ve actually enjoyed it. Maybe it’s that I like being mysterious and enjoy the adventure of not knowing what in the world I’m doing. I have also learned some great things, about who I am, about who God is. And I’ve enjoyed lots of windows-rolled-down-top-of-my-lungs-singing moments along the way.
I think this is why lately I have been hesitant to be tied down. I don’t want to take the normal route, despite the fact that it is easier and leads me straight to where I’ve always wanted to go. Maybe I’m just not sure that is still my final destination.
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