When I encounter joy– the kind that is rich, full yet light, and makes you feel both lighthearted and grounded at the same time– it is always in unexpected places, in the middle of something that I wouldn’t normally categorize as a joyful place.

Last week it was in the grocery store.

I went with my dad and sister to grab a few things before dinner. It’s important to mention that while a trip to the grocery store with my dad is not usually bubbling over with joy, it is always an adventure. My father is a great reader of labels and a passionate talker and there is always someone he knows in the grocery store and even if there isn’t, in between studying labels with the attention an archeologist gives a new fossil, my dad will talk to just about anyone within a two foot radius.

This particular trip was just good.
We were all in good moods, the store wasn’t crowded, and we ran into a few friends who we hadn’t seen in a pretty long while.

People who are truly glad to see one another is one of my favorite ways to experience joy. Whether it is me seeing a friend or someone else. There’s this moment of elation that is beautiful and all about God. It immediately speaks to my heart what it means for God to take delight in us.

After we’d taken some time to talk to these friends we moved on to the register and got the best employee this particular store has. I mean that. His name is Andrew and he’s the best cashier HEB has. He seems to genuinely enjoy his work and the people he encounters, he’s warm and friendly and extremely funny.

Andrew tells jokes.

Most other cashiers are efficient, capable and get the job done in a timely manner, but they don’t treat it like it’s the most important thing they could be doing right then. I think that’s the difference. Andrew brings joy because he makes the people he’s around feel engaged, you know he’s paying attention to you, but not only that, he wants to make your day a little brighter. He doesn’t know you, he doesn’t have any reason to invest in how you will feel for the rest of the afternoon, but he does anyway.

I, too, am prone to frustration because whatever I’m doing at a given time isn’t what I’m most passionate about, or I feel it doesn’t matter enough– you know, capital M matter, the kind that changes the world. But Andrew reminds me that impacting the world has everything to do with being joyful wherever you are, whatever you are doing. Every moment is an opportunity to make a difference. His actions at least inspired a blog post, who knows what else may come of Andrew’s choice to spread joy?

Are you still wondering how Moses makes his coffee?
He Brews it.