As I am sitting here enjoying the morning, it is quiet. I have purposefully set myself up to have a few hours to write, which I do it best in places that inspire me in different ways -- the mountains, Starbucks, a balcony overlooking the beach. Today it is Whole Foods. The newest store in Austin is a smaller store not far from where I drop off my son at school.
Whole Foods is an amazing place where people-watching is at a premium. The headquarters are here in Austin, and they built a flagship store downtown that is just incredible. Healthy foods are the foundation with just about anything, and everything you need to feed your body well can be found there. My wife and I have, on many occasions, chosen a date night as an evening strolling the isles and people-watching at the mega-headquarters grocery store. It always includes taste testing then eating something new, organic and healthy.
Today I was craving a bran muffin with blueberries. I bought a four pack and a half loaf of cranberry walnut bread cut thin. I also ordered a medium organic coffee with almond milk and cinnamon. As I sat down to enjoy my treats I thought, ‘Who am I?’
Since when do I want a bran muffin? Why am I so intrigued by local honey and Truvia natural sweetener? Let me check … Boots? Yes. Jeans? Check. Ranger belt? Yep. Starched button-down long sleeve? Yep. I drove my dirty ole’ Dodge truck over here. I am half shaven and have a healing wound on my hand from a weekend fishing mishap. I am still the good ole’ boy I think I am -- I think.
As I ponder my cravings I look up and notice that there are old pickup truck tailgates hanging from the ceiling in different directions as decor over the registers here. Older ones -- now that is cool.
I am stuck in a weird place right now. I realize I live a life polar opposite of where I spent many days on along my life trail. I grew up a city boy, and I crave the country life. I am about as conservative as one can be, yet I love this hip and cool place called Austin. I enjoy the energy of the boys and girls I mentor and crave time with the wise and intentional Sages I have in my life. I love bacon, eggs and biscuits with strong black coffee for breakfast, yet I am here filling a craving I had for a bran muffin and agave nectar.
The music in the store changes from something I have never heard, an eclectic sound, to “The Devil Went Down to Georgia” by Charlie Daniels. How appropriate.
The really amazing thing, the one thing consistent in my life today, is my desire to know Jesus and live a life as an honorable man -- a man who claims Jesus as his Lord of lords, King of kings. A man who will fight a battle against the wrongs and deviant claims of the fallen angels and Satan himself. To be a person, a man, who stands for something, who is compassionate and caring and has meaning in his life. One who is penitent when wrong, walks with a joy that is shared without conversation and truly prays when I say, "I am prayin' for ya."
John Eldredge, (“Wild at Heart”), talks about the poser. The guy who is living one way and portrays another, one who wears one hat in public and a different one at home or at church. We all do it at some level, smiling when we are not happy, laughing at something we do not find funny, agreeing to something to get along or get ahead. I have been that guy for years in so many areas. The difference today is when I uncover myself posing, it bothers me. I don't want to do it. I don't want to be that person.
Life is full of all types of opportunities, challenges, foods, stores, people and places to be or be from. I am free to choose. I can enjoy my bran muffin today and thick cut fried crisp bacon tomorrow. I can choose today to be in a good mood or fill my pockets full of rocks and sticks and be weighted down with the burdens of unhappiness and anger. Of course I have to take into consideration my waistline, my cholesterol, my sugar intake and if there will be time for a nap after breakfast. Many of the choices we make today have long-term consequences. Decisions from our past come back and we have to deal with them. In almost every situation we have to make a choice, eat it or not, be there or leave, face it or run, believe or not. Today I choose to enjoy being where God has me. It is a good place.