Chipotle is God's Will.
Bear with me on this, it's a metaphor.
I’m very proud to say that I never drank alcohol or did drugs in high school, primarily because I was terrified I would get caught and be in big trouble. Probably the only thing that I was never brave enough to test: the wrath of my parents in regards to illegal substances.
I also never abused drugs or alcohol in college, primarily because I didn’t go to college. (I had Bible School and some seminary when I was in South Africa interning and working with Hillsong but that was it.)
However, over the last few years I’ve become increasingly aware that I do have an addiction. Thankfully, it’s not to anything unholy or something that could actually harm me, but my Chipotle infatuation is definitely a sensitive subject with me.
In the bible they often used poetic metaphors for the things of God that they couldn’t quite describe. Well, I’m convinced that they said the streets of Heaven are lined with gold because they couldn’t fathom something as beautiful and wonderful as Chipotle lining their path for all of eternity. That kind of love was just too remarkable and glorious to wrap their minds around, so they settled for gold, to be more accessible for the average reader. If I haven’t made my opinions clear: Chipotle is a glimpse of heaven, of that much I’m convinced.
Moving somewhere within an 8 minute walk of a chipotle in September was one of the worst financial decisions I’ve made, but one of the best decisions in regards to improving my quality of life. I mentioned in my last blog post that this has been the toughest season of my life, and I will never doubt that my friends at Chipotle have been a key part of my support system, whether they’ve realized it or not. It’s essentially a support group. The thought of Chipotle makes me so excited. I cannot plan to go a day (or even multiple hours) in advance, because I will be too focused on counting down hours, minutes, seconds to be productive in the meantime.
I’ve come to realize that my Chipotle experience is far superior to that of most people, and I believe the reason why is this: I make the most of the whole experience. Chipotle is a reminder that Jesus loves me; an edible devotion some might say, so I like to spend my time thanking God for His glorious treasures in solitude. On the rare occasion that I do go to Chipotle with others, they often ask me, “Do you always do this?” To which I unashamedly answer, “Yes.” When I go to Chipotle, I go in with the mindset that “I want to make these wonderfully gifted individuals’ day because God is working through them to bless me with one of His finest gifts.”
I always go at a time when I know there will be very few people there, where as most people just go in at lunch or dinner. Now, most people walk in with no expression whatsoever, rarely acknowledging the workers. I enter and throw my arm and a half up in the air, and give them a “WHUDDUP” as I raise my eyebrows and cock my head back, at which we all laugh together in Spanish, “Jajajajaja.”
Next, I’ll say “Yo, can you hook me up with a bowl with brown rice, black beans, veggies and steak?” (because obvi steak has the highest protein and lowest fat ratios, and also tastes the best. duh) Then genuinely I thank them before it gets passed onto the next worker. As they load me up with what I lovingly refer to as “the goods” (also known as salsas, cheese, sour cream, lettuce and – DUH, guac) I continue witty banter down the divine assembly line and I’m known to say “Yeah dude, that’s my favorite” for every ingredient (still in Spanish, whenever possible).
I think this exchange is a lot like God and how His will intertwines with our lives while giving us free choice. There’s this beautiful, amazing opportunity and experience (His will, or in this case Chipotle) we can have, and most of us want whether that’s a conscious or subconscious decision. However, we have these preconceived ideas of what that should look like. At Chipotle, it’s certain meat to rice and condiment ratios, but in life it’s having our bank accounts at a certain level, having successful relationships, having a large amount of friends or acceptance from others.
At Chipotle I could be one of those customers that barks orders across at the people, telling them exactly what I want, and getting frustrated with them when the ratio isn’t right. I mean, I’m paying for it after all, it should be exactly as I envisioned it! But I don’t want to be that customer. In fact, I loathe people who are snots about things like that.
My Chipotle is usually too big to fit into a container. Don’t worry, I almost always split it into at least three meals, so we don’t need the gluttony police on my case. Like so many people, I could say “Yo, can I get more rice?”, or “Can you give me double meat?” etc…but I don’t even have to. We’re usually having such a great time interacting with one another that they literally pile it on there and hook me up just because they love me.
Most people order across the magic wall and just call over their ingredients, without thinking or interacting with the workers at all. They know what they want, and aren’t at all curious about the people behind the scenes making it happen. And you know what? They get their Chipotle. It’s delicious. They leave. What I’ve realized over the last few months is that as I go in, focused on bringing life and love to my second home, a beautiful exchange happens. I get more than I expected. I’ve had a wonderful experience. And it usually involves free guac.
Now this isn’t a prosperity gospel type of message, because there have been so many times when there’s a line to china just to get to the front. There are times when there is a 20 minute wait for steak. But it’s still so good. I make a decision to choose to not let circumstances determine my response. Same goes with life, if we just go into things with a great attitude, and trust that regardless of our expectations things will still be wonderful, life seems to go a lot better and we get more of the goodness that HE wants to give us.