It’s our new favorite place in Mexico. Not just because of the cozy, quaint interior or friendly staff, but because they serve the best espresso we’ve ever had.
Passione Caffé is on our way home from yoga and since caffeine is normally required to revive us from that work out, we’ve been frequenting it a lot lately.
There’s something about taking the time to sit at a table and order a cup of coffee that comes in a real china cup. About savoring each sip, being present and having meaningful conversation with another person.
Sharing a house and a car, Natalie and I spend just about every waking moment together, but in this place we are free from distractions and our conversation often goes deep. To the desires of our heart – our hopes to one day be remarried and have kids. To the work God has done and is doing in our lives – how much we’ve grown over the last year and also how much more refining we need. To where we think He is leading and where we think we’ll end up – will we come back to Virginia? Mexico? Some other part of the world?
At this rightly named “Caffé” we’re drinking espresso, but I like to think we’re sipping on a little cup of “passion.” We share our hopes and dreams and the combination of conversation and coffee further whets our appetite for the adventure God has in store for us, albeit largely unknown.
Yesterday as we sipped, we reflected on the group of gals we had just met. They came down from San Diego to surf for a few days and stopped in to take a yoga class.
Always interested in meeting new people (especially fellow 30-somethings since there aren’t many of us here), Natalie and I struck up a conversation with some of these ladies after class.
After the usual niceties, we faced the inevitable questions about what we do for a living and how we came to live in Mexico. Three months into this adventure, we’ve honed a solid, 30-second explanation. It goes something like this:
“We both went through a divorce in the last 18 months. We own our own business, don’t have kids and have enough money saved up after working for a decade to take a year off. So, we cashed out our retirement funds, packed up and left nearly everything behind in Virginia, drove across the country and are living here in Baja California for three months. The plan is to see 7 continents over the next 8 months or so.”
This usually elicits overwhelmingly enthusiastic approval or confessions of jealousy from whoever we are talking to. But, if it doesn’t and we sense the person is not totally on board with our plan we then add:
“We’re young, single and we realized that we only have a short window of time to do this – especially if we end up getting married and having kids. So, why not now? Worst case scenario, we have the most amazing time seeing the world and when we get back, we settle down, get jobs and make more money.”
This usually does the trick; as even the most sensible and risk-averse person has a hard time disagreeing with this logic.
In the case of these San Diego surfer girls, we were far from crazy. Word must have traveled among the group in a matter of minutes because after we said goodbye and began to drive away, they waved at us to roll down the window.
“You girls are an inspiration!” they shouted enthusiastically.
It felt good to hear that. I mean, who doesn’t want the affirmation and approval of others? Especially when you’re a recovering type-A, East coast performance addict and it’s coming from a bunch of chilled-out Californians. But 20 minutes later at Passione Caffé I felt differently.
As Natalie and I pontificated over coffee it all became so clear. This trip is much more than two divorced girls trading in their broken hearts and marriages for a trip around the world. It’s more than impressing people with our courage to step out of our comfort zones and take risks. It’s more than the cool places we will see along the way. That may be part of it, but what this trip is really about is following God. Being obedient to where He is calling us. So that in the end, HIS purpose is accomplished and HE gets the glory – not us.
“While our plan is to see 7 continents, that may not be where God leads us,” I tell Natalie. “The truth is that we really don’t have a clue as to where we’ll be or what our lives will look like in 6 months to a year.” She nods in agreement. And then the irony of it all occurs to me and I laugh out loud.
“What’s so funny?” she asks.
“As a coach, the FIRST question I ask my clients to clearly define is, “What do you want your life to be like in 6 to 12 months,” I say. “And here I am and I don’t have a clue how to answer that question!”
We laugh some more but what then occurs to me is that perhaps this is the wrong question to ask. In a society where we are told to make our destiny and do what makes us happy, and at a time when we are encouraged to set goals for the new year, maybe the question isn’t “Where do I want to be in the next 6-12 months.” It’s “Where does God want me to be?”
I know that in order to get that answer I have to slow down. I have to intentionally seek God and silence the distractions around me. And if I want to actually do what God wants me to do and be who He wants me to be, I have to sacrifice and surrender my own will.
That’s much easier said than done. But in the end, God’s will is the absolute best thing.
So, for 2016, I’m not going to set a bunch of goals about what I think I should be accomplishing. Instead, I’m going to focus on just one goal – uniformity with God’s will.
Today, as I sip another espresso at Passione Caffé, I feel a newfound passion. A new clarity about my purpose. And a new hope that if I’m truly conformed to the will of God, this “Great Enlivening” may look very different from what I originally thought or what we might plan, but it will be infinitely better.