Empty cups and God: The life of a professional coffee drinker
Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate,
I went for a ride this morning. It’s beginning to warm up finally, but it was still cool enough for my winter cycling gear. Before pulling out of the driveway, I unlocked my car and got my shoe covers out of the back floor board. Part of being a triathlete is always having various training pieces, articles of clothing, and shoes in your car from previous rushed training sessions. It can be a smelly life, I guess.
When I got into my car I noticed something that surprised me: 6 empty coffee cups from various coffee houses around the Nashville area. I amassed quite a collection last week of cups – and those in my car were likely just the tip of the iceberg – those that I didn’t throw away on site after my meetings.
I spent a lot of time in the car last week, driving from meeting to meeting. I set up shop at our old churches coffee cafe in Brentwood several times last week, at small coffee spots in old Franklin, at breakfast spots in swanky Green Hills. I drink a lot of coffee in between training sessions.
It occurred to me that I’m a bit of a professional coffee drinker. And that’s different than being a coffee snob; at home I drink Kroger brand or Maxwell House – whichever is cheapest in the large container at the time. No, I don’t care much what kind of coffee it is really.
When I’m working I’m drinking coffee. Almost always, each cup represents a conversation as well. And a human being. And a connection. I pray over each cup – not out loud, or even in a purposeful close-my-eyes ask-for-something-specific or some miracle sort of way. But rather, in the spirit that I try to work with.
In my job as a Director of Business Development, and sometimes recruiter, I’m sitting down with people and praying for an impact in their life or in the lives of those they lead. Certainly for recruits or “candidates’ as they’re called in the industry, it’s a vulnerable time – searching for a job you love or for a job in general isn’t an easy time. I’ve been there. Your confidence is shaky. Maybe even shot. And when I’m talking with a new client or “partner” as I prefer to call them, I’m hoping to solve a problem in their work place – and create an opportunity to help some one who needs it, find a new job and regain their hope and confidence.
I get in a hurry sometimes though. Some days I come home from work and mommy asks he how my day was and all I can say is “I don’t remember.” By morning I always remember though. Because it matters.
It’s busy. It’s a thousand directions and conversations at once. Recruiters get a bad wrap sometimes for not caring about people – only about placements and paydays. But I’m not one of those guys.
I’m a relationship builder. I pray that I stay focused on helping people – even if I don’t get paid. I pray that I’m able to smile at each meeting and offer some advice or maybe just a word of hope. I ask God to help me be His servant in the busy, impersonal, cut-throat world of capitalism (not that there’s anything wrong with red, white and blue capitalism) and business.
I don’t always succeed. But I try now.
I’m a professional coffee drinker. And I’m darn good at it judging by the empty cups in floor boards and cup holders of my car.
I love you,
Wed: Biked 40 minutes / Ran 10 minutes BRICK
Thurs: Swam 1000 yards
Fri: Ran 6 miles
Sat: Biked 80 minutes