Thursday, February 25, 2010

What I Did for a Cup of Coffee

My wife and I arrived in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Our plane was delayed by about 45 minutes because the snow was coming down in large amounts. We circled the airport as they removed snow from the runway. As we landed, I looked out the window, but I couldn't see anything but WHITE. It was a white out like I haven't experienced (I am from Long Beach, Ca. and Phoenix, Az.). The snow continued to come down, down, down.
We gathered up our luggage, made a phone call to be picked up and walked outside. Snowflakes the size of quarters were falling and floating. We took pictures, send text messages to our family and friends, posted on Twitter and Facebook and laughed. The stretch limo picked us up and we felt like rock stars but in fact, we were in Zion, Illinois because my wife has breast cancer and the Cancer Treatment Center of America picks up all their patients in limos which is very cool. We had the limo to ourselves and began what is usually a 45 minute drive to our hotel. The drive was smooth but it took us 1.5 hours because of the snow. At one point, the driver had to stop because he could not see the road due to an extreme amount of snow. We certainly were not in Phoenix anymore!
We got to our hotel room, settled in, called Pizza House and ordered a great thin crust Pizza House Special, watched American Idol and the Winter Olympics. We slept well and woke up to about 8 inches of fresh snow on the ground. I got up, went down to the work out room, speed walked for about 30 minutes while I watched Fox and Friends. After showering and getting ready to head to the hospital, it hit me. I remembered (actually I was looking forward) that I had the BEST cup of coffee EVER when we were here a couple of weeks ago.
The best cup of coffee EVER was enjoyed at It's All Good coffee house in Zion, Illinois. I just had to have another cup of that GREAT coffee. So Debbie headed off for the hospital via the shuttle bus and I put on my muffler (it goes around your neck not under your car - that is for all of my Arizona readers :-), my ear muffs, my beanie and my gloves. I headed out for It's All Good.
It's All Good is about 3/4 of a mile away from our hotel and about 1/2 mile away from the hospital. The weather was about 18ยบ and sunny and remember, there is about 8 inches of fresh snow on the ground. So, for a cup of coffee (the BEST coffee), I trudged in the snow for about 20 minutes one way. If you paid close attention to what I was wearing, what I didn't tell you about was my shoes - which actually should be boots when one walks in 8 inches of snow for very long, but I had on shoes.
As I headed out for the walk, I suddenly realized that the snow was over my ankles and it was finding it's way into my shoes causing my feet to get wet and cold. After about 100 paces, I began to think that I should head back to the hotel and take the shuttle to the hospital. I kept trying to talk myself out of how WONDERFUL the coffee was. I would say to myself, no coffee is worth that much effort or exposure to the elements. But the BEST coffee kept calling me so I kept walking. I walked past people shoveling snow in front of their place of business. Noticeably absent was anyone else waking on the streets, especially with low top, slip on shoes. As my feet got colder and more wet I began to question my sanity. As I trudged forward there were portions that were deeper because the snow plow simply shot the snow from the road onto the sidewalk...what was I thinking.
Suddenly, there it was, It's All Good was there with a shoveled walkway. I could smell my reward. I stomped the snow off of my feet, walked into the store, removed my gloves and ear muffs (muffler remained) and proudly told the barista that I had come all the way from Arizona for the BEST cup of coffee I had ever had. She smiled and pointed to the wall behind her. Sure enough there was an Arizona car license plate with the words "It's All Good" on it. I smiled and felt happy that I was there. I ordered and paid for a large cup of coffee, walked over the coffee dispenser and sipped each offering. Ah, the wonderful aroma and taste filled my mouth and brought excitement to my brain. I was having a cup of the BEST coffee in the world. I choose to indulge myself in the House brew, filled my cup, put a cap on it and headed out the door with my gloves back on.
As I walked the final 1/2 mile back to the hospital, my shoes were filling with moisture from the cold snow, my toes were beginning to ache, but my mouth was full of the wonderful flavors of the BEST coffee ever.
As I came to the end of my walk, I found myself in conversation with Jesus about doing something so silly for a cup of coffee. I was so sold out to be on mission for the BEST coffee. I really wasn't in danger so much as I choose to be uncomfortable and it was a mission, an adventure. Then the question came to me; Why was I so willing to do something so adventurous, missional and uncomfortable for a cup of coffee when I don't often do adventurous, missional and uncomfortable things for Jesus?
Are you willing to be on mission, adventurous and uncomfortable for a cup of the BEST coffee? How about for Jesus?