So, being back in the States for 3 months now I'm getting used to a lot of the ways of Americans again. At Starbucks, I take orders, meet customers needs, and make countless cups of coffee. Tonight (tuesday), we are sitting in the Leigh's living room, during one of our 'Interviews'. I was reading through a journal entry as we discuss topics and events of India and I come across and entry about coffee that made me laugh.
Here's what it said:
January 20, 2009
"... I was just thinking this might be a good title or chapter in a book. "There are floaters in my coffee." More or less, this idea is that I have become so desensitized to things. I can't really explain it. It has just happened. My standard of cleanliness and comfort has gone down in recent months. I guess my worries of things has too.
I have drunk the water and eaten the food cooked on the streets. All those kinds of things would be out of the question a year ago. But it's cool how my perception of life has changed.
Now, when we are in the airports we are 'safe.' Everyone is not out to get us. My level of worry has changed a lot too. I think all these changes aren't out of stupidity or carelessness ... maybe they are. But, I think a lot of it has to do with growing up. Always having a sense of awareness is good. But the thing I realize as I step back and look at the big picture is this: The rest of the world is full of people, too ... other humans just trying to work, eat, build, fellowship, communicate, grow, learn, love and simply live. To other westerners it may look different, but people everywhere are no different than in the States. I think I came to this while in Uganda. My mindset up until that point was smaller and more closed. But now I see it differently..."
After having been away from the 'civilized' USA for 4-5 months, I was beginning to realize how desensitized I had become to certain things such as cleanliness and sanitation. They are things that people all over the world have to deal with. Over time when you are exposed to something or a list of somethings, you begin to get used to it, maybe even desensitized to it. I wouldn't really freak out if I ended up doing the things that your parents always told you not to do. I think I really began realizing this when the team from the US arrived in India. They all had their hand sanitizer and personal cleansing items at the ready at all times. They were all double and triple checking that we could drink this certain water. This was all great and I loved being a part of it. This is not a put down in any way. It was just different for me. In the morning, they had there dunkin donuts coffee that included 'no floaters'. You know, a bug or dirt or stray chunk of something. Some people call it "trail spice." Others blame it on a broken dishwasher. Floaters.
And now, I work at Starbucks and make countless cups of coffee every day, without any floaters. I am faced every day with the worries and consumption of Americans... and all the little things that get in the way that cause you to miss the more important things. I am daily in the process of remembering how to not let those things consume me as they once did; learning how to love like Jesus in this consuming culture that we were born into. How do we keep Jesus and the way of his love as our focus in our day to day lives in America?
What does that look like for you? I challenge you with this the next time your drinking your cup of coffee...without any floaters.