Lesson’s from Ladro

The other day, while I was on campus at Liberty University taking a course for my worship degree, someone asked me what I learned while working at Caffe Ladro. I knew right off the bat what my answer was. One single word, that I didn’t think would actually be my answer. However, when the question was asked, it was the first word that came into my head, and I knew it was right. You would think that working at a coffee shop that I would learn all sorts of stuff about coffee, espresso, latte art, and steaming the proper consistency of foam. All this I have learned more fully at Caffe Ladro, however, none of these things where my answer. My answer was one simple word: humility.

What an odd answer right? Not really. Anyone who works at a coffee bar, or any other area of the service industry knows that our job is all about serving, thats why it’s called the service industry. For me that meant developing humility. I think that would be less true in Lynchburg, VA (home of LU), or Cameron Park, CA (where I grew up) or even Yakima, WA (another placed I lived). However, in Issaquah, near Seattle it is very very true. The diverse nature of this part of the country means that many different cultures come together.

There are a lot of immigrants that are fresh from their country, or are 1st generation immigrants, still not full ‘Americanized’. Some of these cultures don’t tip, most of them don’t, thats not really a big deal to me. However, certain cultures view the service industry, as a low caste. We don’t have this caste system in America really. However, some cultures do and they bring it with them. When you wait on people that have this attitude you can tell they think they are better than you. They always are a little snotty or something. They also always take up large areas of our shop, and make the largest mess. For awhile this irritated me. Creating extra work with no tip! And the attitude. Sometimes I felt like saying, “Hey! I’m getting a Master’s degree, I’m probably smarter than you are!” but really . . . what arrogance! I’m glad I never said that, but I did think it. I have decided that God is teaching me humility. Who cares if I have a Master’s degree or Doctorate, or if my IQ is higher . . .thats not the point. I am there to serve. And I will serve the best I can, with a heart that will try to be humble and loving. Hopefully I’ll learn humility, who knows I am stubborn, but I hope I get it down.

What is God teaching you?

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