Being Spontaneously Intentional: Lessons from The Drive Thru

gty_mcdonalds_drive_through_jt_120204_wblogI drove away with my large iced black coffee with a smile on my face and a hole within my heart. Why do I come here nearly every morning for my coffee? Sure, its cheap, but not great.

The smile on my face is without question from the people who work here. Many of them, I’m guessing are in their early twenties.

Coming here nearly everyday, I order the same thing. Certainly they serve hundreds of people daily in the drive-thru. But I guess its the drink I order that makes me memorable.

“Can I get a large iced black coffee with no cream and no sugar, please.”

Sometimes they ask me if it is any good or how can I drink that. I was told once by a young man as he handed me my drink that I was a savage for drinking this without anything in it. I’m not entirely sure what that meant, but it seemed like it was a sign of respect. I laugh thinking about it.

Then there’s the other young man who always likes to mess with me from pretending to drop my drink to trying to collect a tax from me for him making my drink without the extras.

And then there is the one young lady who I lean out the window and place my order with into the speaker. She likes to mess with me sometimes and when repeating my drink, she adds.. and that was with extra sugar and extra cream, right?

Ha! How does she know its me? Working a drive-thru has always baffled me. Maybe its not air traffic control, but man it sure seems close.

With this, I guess it might be safe to say.. they now know me.

I can’t think of a time where I have pulled away with my iced coffee in hand that I didn’t have a smile on face. It feels good to feel known. It feels great to be acknowledged.

Today was different. Though as usual, I had a smile deeply engraved upon my face, my heart felt empty. I mean, I come to the McDonald’s drive-thru nearly every morning and quite frankly it has become one of the only places where I consistently drive away with a smile on my face and feel that for at least that one brief moment.. I matter.

How can this be?

Maybe its because I actually place myself in a place to be known. Too often when one goes through a tough stretch of life, it becomes too easy to isolate. And in this, it is very easy to then become, unknown.

I mean, people can’t cheerlead you if they don’t have access to you. Though they certainly can intercede for you if they simply just remember you.

This makes me think.

How can I be spontaneously intentional with each moment I have with each person I see in a way that would make them too, drive away with a smile on their face and a feeling in their heart that they too.. matter?

Being spontaneously intentional doesn’t take much. Well maybe it does. We just need to stop being too busy, feeling too important, and being too distracted.

Then and maybe just then, can we begin to just start living. You just never know when that person you are about to cross paths with, could use an iced black coffee with no cream and no sugar.


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