It was just a cup of coffee, or so he thought.
But as A.J. Jacobs sipped his favorite black beverage, a rapid succession of thoughts danced through his mind:
- Who designed this coffee lid?
- Who thought to add a double layer of hand protection to this java jacket?
- What farmer grew these coffee beans?
- What technique was used to roast this particular blend?
On and on his trail of thoughts swirled until A.J. finally decided to do something about it — he embarked on an adventure to track down 1000 people involved in the making of his morning cup of coffee in order to personally thank them. The result? A.J. journeyed across the globe, transformed his life in the process and learned a wide variety of surprising lessons on gratitude that has made him happier, more generous and more connected.
While listening to a recent podcast where A.J. served as guest host, I found myself wondering what a thousand thank yous could look like for my own life, and more importantly, my faith.
Jacobs discovered that his coffee – and every other item in our lives – would not be possible without hundreds of people we usually take for granted: farmers, chemists, artists, presidents, truckers, mechanics, biologists, miners, smugglers, and goatherds.
And I found myself thinking about and appreciating the dozens (if not hundreds) of people that have made my faith possible – Sunday school volunteers, teachers, family friends, parents, Grandparents, Aunts, Uncles, neighbours, Pastors, mentors, leaders, and the list goes on.
So many people went into the shaping of who I am and the deeply held faith I hold on to today, but how often have I thought about that? How often have I thanked God for them?
In a culture like today that moves at such a rapid pace and where there’s barely enough time to think about life never mind appreciate it, it’s easy to get caught up in the rat-race of what’s next, what’s new and there’s got to be more. But it’s important to stop.
To make moments.
To collect moments.
To be present in the here and now.
And to reflect on where you’ve come from not just where you’re going.
By thanking the thousands of people that went into the making of his coffee, Jacobs found some much-needed brightness in his life.
So again I find myself wondering … if by taking a few simple moments to thank or pray for the people in your life that have contributed to where you’ve landed in your faith and who have shaped who you’ve become, I wonder how much brighter and lit up your faith could be? More importantly, I wonder how much praise and glory it would give to God?
Jacobs book, Thanks a Thousand, is a beautiful reminder of the amazing interconnectedness of our world and just how many people have to align in order to bring together the creation of something enjoyable.
But that’s not so different than you and me.
We are here today, living out these beautiful lives, because of the amazing interconnectedness of our faith. The way God designed and aligned the vast array of people to come together in order to bring about the creation that is you is remarkable. It’s mind-blowing, really.
So as you think about the seat you’re currently sitting in, and the device you’re currently using to read this post, allow your mind to wander and reflect on all the people that aligned to make you who you are today.
And make this a moment of thank you.