On Fridays, I don’t go in to the office. I find a nice coffee shop (there are several in Tulsa) with free wi-fi- and rent a table for the day by purchasing a cup of fancy coffee and a muffin, cinnamon roll, or other pastry. I call it my temporary office, and the last 5 Fridays I have been in 5 different ‘offices’. Today, it’s Panera Bread, home of the best cinnamon roll ever. The Hazelnut dark roast is pretty good too.
Friday is my day off from my regular ministry at the First Baptist Church of Tulsa, so I’m not dissing my day job to spend time drinking coffee and playing on the iPad. Instead, I relax, people watch, and work on some projects that I am developing: three writing projects, a teaching series, and some guest blog posts I’ve been asked to write. Kinda boring.
But the people watching is fun! Directly in front of my table is a nicely dressed guy with a tablet, and he is reading the Tulsa World newspaper on his reader. Two tables over sit two young men, both with iPads, discussing some graduate homework project that involves exegesis of an Old Testament scripture. To my right, the small booth is full of four energetic young people discussing religion and the state of the church in Tulsa. Judging from his accent, the gentleman is from Australia or South Africa; the ladies are local and have apparently visited every church of every denomination in town. Funny; they get louder for a bit, then soften their tone once they realize we are all staring at them.
I enjoy people watching; I’m sure others do, too. Which leads to my point…
What do others see when, on their people-watching exercises, they people-watch me? Do they see me smile at the employees, clean up a spill or pick someone else’s napkin from the floor? Do they wonder, as I do when I watch people, if I am a person of faith, and if so, want to know my story? Do they see my worry lines or sense my frustration with my writing schedule or latest truck repair bill?
If I could control what people saw when they people-watch me, I’d want them to see me… at peace.
I want people to see me as a person of peace, even though I don’t have it all together, and I don’t have all the answers. I’d hope they could sense the calm … sense… of… well, peace… as they watched me interact with others around me.
Yeah- that’s what I’d wish if I could control what others saw when they people-watched me.
Are you at peace? What would others say about you when they people-watch you? What is keeping you from living in peace?