My favorite thing in all the world is a quality conversation. An intelligent often God soaked interaction with another human being can keep me interested for a very long time. And I love to listen to other people's conversations. Not really to be nosy, but just to find out what's important to people and what they find interesting enough to talk about. More often than not I find it incredibly funny too.
Reading and blogging and working on Bible study at Starbucks with endless free refills and a few unplanned hours is my own little slice of Heaven. Almost always when I'm there I either get into or overhear something interesting. For example:
A few weeks ago there were two girls sitting behind me. One had returned from college and the other was clearly upset about their lack of interaction. The college one said, "Amanda. You don't understand. When I'm away from school and home I would like to be able to rest socially." WHAT??? What does that even mean?? Apparently the other girl spoke her language though because she immediately burst into tears. Ha!
Last week I had an impromptu conversation with my pastor who wandered in for his 2 pounds of coffee for the week (love that about him!). His unexpected visit coated with Godly wisdom was invaluable.
One day when I was working on a Bible study one of the girls that works there asked me if I could recommend a Bible to her. I'm sure I gave her more information than she bargained for but it ended up being a neat conversation about she desperately needed to get back on track with the Lord. Fabulous.
Recently the two women next to me were praying together over what must have been some unwanted test results. Loved that.
The guy in front of me in line the other day who ordered a Pepsi......WHAT?
The girl in front of me a few weeks ago who wanted something that didn't taste too much like coffee.......WHAT???
The new employee who asked me if I was drinking decaf. Really? Starbucks has decaf??? I honestly didn't know that. And no, I wasn't.
And the many conversations that revolve around the new Starbucks gold card. It tells you how many times you've been there this year which is SUCH a problem!!! Ignorance is bliss and all that. As of this morning? 70 times since January 4th. UNBELIEVABLE! My own little not so private addiction. The happiness it brings me at the moment is well worth the price of rehab in the future.
But the conversations there got me thinking the other day. Surrounded by business men drinking espresso dopios in little tiny cups with 65 packets of sugar and still scowling I overheard many of their conversations. Talks about the stock market, health care reform, business plans and ventures, investments, liabilities, cost analysis, and the future of business in general. Their entrepreneurial destiny? Lots of money, fancy cars, beautiful wives and a retirement villa on a private island. Then they all laughed like they'd figured out the meaning of life. This happened to be the same day the two women in the corner with tears in their eyes were taking page after page of lab results to the Father clearly needing a miracle.
And I couldn't help but wonder which of the two groups were investing in something greater. The men were throwing all their eggs (both real and imagined) in an earthly basket. The women were giving very visible concerns to an "invisible" God. They both spent the same amount of time in discussion/prayer. The men got up, patted each other on the back, reminded each other of their golf outing on Saturday and looked way stressed out. The women hugged, said their good-byes and with eyes still glistening seemed totally at peace. It was a stark contrast, but had a huge impact on my thinking.
The men seemed like they knew what they were talking about. They might just get all they planned for. But at some point - that's all they'll ever get. Their average lifespan is no longer or shorter than anyone else no matter how successful they are or become. They are investing in the temporal and the ground, especially in this economy, is shaky at best. Their entrepreneurial destiny is uncertain, dependent on unknown variables and more likely than ever to fail. And they will fail with it if/when it does.
But those women spoke volumes to me that day. I don't know if whoever's test results those were is still alive. I don't even know if those were one of their tests. I just know that they had a problem, they had concerns, they had hard questions - and they took them to the Answer. Their Entrepreneurial destiny was a guaranteed success because the outcome did not belong to them. They placed what they could never hold into the hands of One who holds everything. Nothing changed physically that day that I know of, but everything changed for them spiritually. For that moment in time, you could see it in their eyes-they were peaceful, confident, reassured, and believing.
And it reminded me to invest wisely. It's important to be responsible with money for sure and we certainly need Godly business people, but more important than that is to invest spiritually. What am I doing on a day to day basis that makes a difference for eternity? Am I just spending a few minutes in monotonous prayers, or am I listening to the Holy Spirit and praying believing prayers on the behalf of others in my life who need the Lord? Am I just reading a couple of scriptures a day to mark it off my spiritual to-do list or am I meditating over the Word of the Lord and carrying it with me in my heart letting it make a difference in my day? Am I spending time wisely or am I wasting time on things that will not change my own or anyone else's destiny in any way?
As believers in Christ, our entrepreneurial destiny is to build the kingdom of Christ-in word, in deed, and in the lives we live. We can build for ourselves lives that by earthly standards are successful. We can spend 90 years establishing our own kingdoms and if we've done them for earthly gain they will not last half of a second in eternity. The conversation that brings someone to or closer to the Lord will last. The time spent truly in prayer and in the Word allowing it to change us from the inside out will last. The sacrifices we make for the kingdom of God will last.
And good news-it's all the Lord's work to do. All we ever have to be is available and willing. He'll provide the opportunities, the strength and the wisdom if we'll just follow His lead.
Colossians 3:2 Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth.