The National Football League has started up again and as the fall approaches I (Justin) once again have got myself excited for a great season. After having a great debut, the Minnesota Vikings took their game to the road against their long term rivals, the Green Bay Packers.
Last year, the Vikings made it to the semi-finals. They were one of the teams to beat with a defense like none other. So, us fans went into this game with great optimism, despite having to face up against a good team and a quarterback legend.
I won’t lie to you… it was a tough game to watch. It felt like each team was doing their best to lose. Yet, in the fourth quarter, the Vikings quarterback led several a triumphant march down the field to tie up the game. It was glorious! This is what Vikings fans had been waiting to see! The game went into overtime and I was pretty positive Minnesota would be able to pull off a W.
After an additional ten minutes of play, no one had scored. The game would end in a tie. No one would win. 28 – 28
But Justin, no one lost either!
Yeah, well… A tie doesn’t mean you’ve won either. Kirk Cousins, Vikings quarterback, said in a post game press conference, “I don’t know how to feel right now.”
I tell you that story to illustrate what the beginning of September felt like for Brittany, myself, and the Aroma ministry here in Taiwan.
After taking over the cafe for the summer, we learned the in’s and out’s and went to work. It was hard work, but it felt good to not only be doing something different from our normal ‘behind-the-scenes’ roles, but also to be helping sustain the ministry until the end of the summer when we would step back to re-evaluate. I love making coffee for people! I greatly enjoyed leading our local team to work hard and push each other to grow in more than just being great employees.
Yet when our time serving as managers had ended we felt like not much had been won. The cafe had stayed open, we had played a role in changing the internal culture of the cafe staff, but our bottom line, creating long lasting sustainable kingdom impact, was not where we felt it should be.
So we shut the cafe down for a month.
It wasn’t just my (Justin) decision, but we talked with leadership and they agreed. It might not be a best business practice, but we know that God has more in-store for this ministry.
I imagine Kirk Cousins and I felt similar feelings. Finding joy in things the world tells you are not ideal can be hard. It can feel daunting. As I write this blog we are three weeks into our four week review. We’ve talked a lot internally. I’m excited for where God is taking us regardless of what it looks like. Thank the Lord our hope is not reliant on W‘s, nor is it reliant on our own understanding. Our hope is in the Lord.
We, at the Aroma, know that what we’ve been doing in the cafe and church has had impact. We know that God has worked through us here in Ximen (西門). However, we’re not currently firing on all cylinders and so we’re checking the engine, while we ask God what’s next. How can we stay ahead of the curve instead of fall behind. We can’t wait to see where God will take us… so stay tuned and Brittany and I will keep you up to date.