the weblog of Alan Knox

Another Cup o’ Joe

Posted by on Nov 18, 2008 in discipleship | 9 comments

A few months ago, I had a wonderful meeting over coffee with my friend Joe. But, the experience was soon tarnished when I attempted to meet my friend Tom for coffee. (See “A Cup o’ Joe or a Cup with Joe“.) As I explained earlier, when I met with Tom, everything went wrong: we met at the wrong time and the wrong place; Tom was late, ordered the wrong thing, didn’t buy my coffee; and finally we sat at the wrong table. Since Tom obviously didn’t know how to meet for coffee, I vowed then and there never to have coffee with Tom again.

I’ve learned… never say, “Never”. Well, Tom is persistent. He has been calling me week after week asking to have coffee again. For a few weeks, it was easy for me to make excuses: I had to work late… again…, I was meeting my wife, my children had Tae Kwon Do, I was sick.

But, one day, when Tom asked me for coffee and I declined, Tom asked, “What’s wrong, Alan? I get the feeling that you don’t want to spend time with me.”

I sighed and explained to Tom that our last coffee meeting did not go that well, in my opinion. He asked what went wrong, and I let everything out. Tom apologized and offered to meet me at the correct coffee shop (Starbucks!), at the correct time (5:00). He said that he would buy both of us tall cafe mocha decafs, and that we would sit at a table in a quiet corner.

Honestly, I still didn’t want to do it. But, I decided to be the more mature Christian of the two of us, and I agreed to meet with him. Everything went well. Tom arrived at Starbucks on time. He bought the correct type and size of coffee for both of us this time. We even sat at a quiet table in the back corner. I was very proud of Tom. I could tell that he was really maturing.

However, from several of the comments that he made during our coffee meeting, I could tell that he still had a long way to go. For example, at one point he asked me if I’d ever tried the coffee at other coffee shops. (Well, of course I had! I had coffee with him at one of the heretical… I mean, other… coffee shops!) Again, while we were talking about our various work situations, he mentioned that he appreciated my friendship and that spending time with me was more important than what kind of coffee we drank. (Well, hopefully soon he’ll learn how important it is to drink the right kind of coffee.)

Eventually, it was time to leave. Tom thanked me several times for meeting with him. (Obviously, he could tell that he needs to meet with a mature coffee drinker like me.) He asked if I’d like to get together with him again. I agreed.

He asked where and when I’d like to meet. I may have rolled my eyes… Apparently he didn’t learn as much as I thought. I think this friendship is going to try my patience. Then he said, “I think I can get off work a little early again next week. What if we meet next week at this Starbucks at 5:00 again. I’ll buy us some tall mocha decafs and we can sit at a table in the corner.”

He smiled. I agreed and smiled back. I think I’m rubbing off on Tom. He’s learning what it means to be a true coffee drinker.

(P.S. Something strange happened after I finished writing about my coffee meeting with Tom. Joe, the man who taught me how to have a coffee meeting, invited me for coffee on Saturday morning at a local coffee shop – not Starbucks. He said that this local shop has a great pumpkin spice coffee. I’m praying for Joe. Apparently he has backslidden.)


Comments are closed. If you would like to discuss this post, send an email to alan [at] alanknox [dot] net.

  1. 11-18-2008

    One must remain flexible in life, love and coffee. And unlike the first two, you can always use cream and sugar in coffee.

  2. 11-18-2008

    Oh for crying out loud. Don’t people know that it isn’t coffee that you get at those other shops. No matter where you’re at you aren’t really getting real coffee unless you say it in the right order. Sheesh. You sure won’t get the right kinda buzz off those other “coffees”

    Thanks for the chuckle.

  3. 11-18-2008

    Usher: See Deak, he gets it.

    Deacon: Gets what?

    Usher: He knows what real coffee tastes like! It’s like roadkill Deak – real roadkill has to be in the middle of the road, right on the yellow stripes, still warm and lots of blood flowing! Stop inviting me over for that day old stuff that tastes like beef jerky!

    Deacon: Oh get off your branch and lighten up! Roadkill is roadkill!

  4. 11-18-2008

    You know whats funny. Life sometimes forces us to squeeze “people” into tight corners and because our lives are so programmed we like everythign else that way! Shame on us brother

  5. 11-18-2008


    I told you we seal our roads with that stuff you buy from Starbucks:)

    They have closed 61 outlets in Australia and 600 worldwide.
    I must be right! I thought it was only in the wide west that they sold “rotgut”!

  6. 11-19-2008


    Coffee drinking is the only post modern bone in my head!

  7. 11-19-2008

    Alan, it is obvious that you and I can never meet.
    1. “cuppa” is not coffee…of any density. It is tea.
    2. Only the truly immature (like my 3 year old granddaughter, Hannah) drink it with milk.
    3. It is best accompanied with trays of pastries…or possibly with toast at mid-week.
    4. Joe is not something one drinks. He is my 2 year old grandson. Just milk, no tea.
    If you can’t get the ritual right, we just have NOTHING in common.

  8. 11-19-2008


    Coffee drinking is enough… heretic. 🙂


    I’m so disappointed.


  9. 3-22-2013

    There is power in coffee… spiritual power to bring people together!