Take a second look.

On the walk to Emmaus (see Luke 24:13-31) two disciples meet Jesus on the road. Their eyes were kept from recognizing them (verse 16).

I find verses 28-29 striking –

“They approached the village where they were going, and He acted as though He were going farther on. But they urged Him, saying, “Stay with us, for it is nearly evening and the day is already gone.” So He went in to stay with them.”

It was only after they encouraged him to stay with them that he revealed who he was. They were rewarded for being patient and hospitable. They were rewarded for being curious.

This reminds me of Moses in Exodus 3:1-4 –

“Now Moses was tending the flock of his father-in-law Jethro, the priest of Midian. So he led the flock to the farthest end of the wilderness, coming to the mountain of God, Horeb. Then the angel of ADONAI appeared to him in a flame of fire from within a bush. So he looked and saw the bush burning with fire, yet it was not consumed. Moses thought, “I will go now, and see this great sight. Why is the bush not burnt?” When ADONAI saw that he turned to look, He called to him out of the midst of the bush and said, “Moses, Moses!” So he answered, “Hineni.”

It is from this moment that the deliverance of Israel from slavery began, because it was here that God gave Moses his commission.

In both of these verses, we learn that God rewards us for taking a second look, for being curious. We are rewarded for looking beneath the surface and digging deeper.

(All Bible translations are Tree of Life Version)

Cold complaint

The people who complain most about the cold weather are always the same people who aren’t dressed for it. They have dressed as if the weather is what they want it to be, rather than what it is. Something seems pathological about this. It also seems common.

The easiest way to be unhappy is to focus on what you don’t have rather than what you do have. If you are living in the past or the future you are not living in the now. If you aren’t in the now, nothing will satisfy you.

You are using the wrong template. Round peg, square hole and all that. If now is the round peg and you are trying to fit it into your expectations of how things were in the past or how you think they will go in the future, you’ll rarely be happy, because then isn’t now.

People who complain about the cold never have a hat on, never have a thick coat on, or if they have a coat they don’t have it zipped up so it isn’t insulating them. Hearing them complain is like watching someone hit their head against a wall and then they wonder why they have a headache.

I’ve given up telling people to get a hat or a coat when they complain. They always have an excuse. Secretly they just want to complain. They want to show off how miserable they are. They are being martyrs. Small martyrs, but martyrs nonetheless.

So while I’m using this as a “wake up” call like I’ve written about recently, I’m also ignoring it in a way. I’m not commenting on it to the person, either for or against. I’m not saying “Yes, you’re right, it is cold” or “It is winter, you know”. To comment on it is to reward it, to approve of it. Remember attention is energy, even if it is negative attention. For me to say anything, for or against, is to teach this person that this self-harming behavior is acceptable and they should continue it.

I knew those child-rearing books would come in useful.

Tipping is not a city in China.

I don’t get the purpose of tips. I think that servers should get paid a fair wage and tips should not be mandatory.

I was at a buffet recently and the server was telling a couple that the federal minimum wage for servers has not gone up in over ten years. She said it is $2.13 an hour. This is unreasonable. But, she knew this when she took the job.

Why do we, the customer, have to make up the salary of the worker with a tip? We don’t really tip for good service. We are expected to tip, period. If we don’t tip, the person makes less than minimum wage. So tip isn’t a gratuity. It really isn’t a bonus. It is to make up a shortage. We don’t tip to say “good job.”

What is the point of tipping someone for just doing their job? We don’t tip police officers or gas station employees or teachers.

What is the point of giving a tip to servers who work at a buffet? We get our own food. They take away the plates and get more drinks. Sometimes. Even when they don’t, we are still expected to tip. The price of the buffet may be low, but when you add in the tip it goes up. The tip may not officially be mandatory, but it sure is expected.

When I was in England I asked my cousin what was the expected tip amount. She was surprised. Tips aren’t expected. They are for exceptional service.

I’ve heard that the expected tip now starts at 20%. When I was growing up, that was the high end for really great service. So we are expected to pay more, but we aren’t getting more. The server still takes the order, brings the food, and refills the drinks. Sometimes. I just don’t get how we are supposed to pay extra for baseline service. Nothing has changed from when the tip base was 10%.

I say pay servers a fair wage, and make tips open for all customer service workers, not just restaurant workers. Make tips as a reward for exceptional service. Let’s not encourage mediocrity, or businesses underpaying their workers.