I walked into a coffee shop on the fancy side of town. The usual crowd was assembled. Pairs of 40-something women sipped lattes and talked about work, church, and their kids. 30-something men sat alone and stared at the screens of their devices, tethered by earbuds. I assume this was so they wouldn’t have to listen to the 40-something women.
I was greeted at the counter by an enthusiastic young barista. “What can I get for you?”
“Hi. I’ll have your 16 ounce iced coconut mocha with an extra shot.”
“Okay … wait.” He paused. “With an extra shot?”
“Yes, I’d like an extra shot of coffee. I want more coffee, please.”
“Umm – what do you…? Do you want me to put it in there?” He made stirring motions with his hands.
“But, we make this one with our cold brew.”
“That’s okay. Put the extra shot right on in there with the rest of it.”
His eyes widened and he smiled with inspiration. “Wow. I’ve never heard of that before. I’m going to have to try it. ”
“You really should. More coffee always makes it better.”
“Yeah. It sounds really great. Thank you.”
An extra shot of espresso. It was such a simple thing to me, but to him it was impressive and he generously thanked me for sharing my knowledge.
I tipped him extra for making me feel brilliant. I walked out of the coffee shop with a smile on my face. My fancy drink never tasted better.
In Romans, chapter 12, the apostle Paul told his readers to use their God-given gifts. If you prophesy, speak out with faith. If you serve, serve well. If you teach, teach well. If you encourage, be encouraging. If you give, give generously. If you lead, lead responsibly. If you are kind, be kind gladly.
As individuals we are to carry out our gifts without expecting notoriety from others. We are commanded to do and be what God placed in us to do and be. However, Paul goes on to say, “Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other.” (Romans 12:10 NLT)
I wonder what would happen if we began to appreciate the unique qualities of the people in our lives. We are all individuals with distinct personalities and characteristics.
A healthy dose of genuine admiration for something you normally do goes a long way. We all like to be seen and appreciated for who we are and what we contribute to the lives of others. Even if the action didn’t take special effort, maybe it was special to the person who benefited.
If you and I benefit daily from the natural abilities of others, we should let them know we are grateful. I want to be a noticer of the gifts of others, not only a beneficiary.
Is there someone you could appreciate today? How have you felt noticed recently?