Wednesday, 16 October 2013
There is much said about creating the right atmosphere in the home, workplace or where we spend our leisure time. We often expect that what we particularly like is what will make others feel at home. At the "Old Rusty" we are concerned that we make our customer's visit something more than a contract made between them and us for food and drink. We have covenanted to make their visit an experience that will be more than simply having visited a re-fuelling station. I fully understand the fast food mentality that says "bums on seats for 15 minutes and then replace them with another!" Fast food makes fast profits but that is not what we are about!
We are privileged in that we do not have to worry so much about the profits because we are a charity and our mandate is to affect others with the gospel message. We are not "in your face evangelists" but yet we are thoroughly evangelical. Most of our customers come for refreshment and not to be preached to but we do have a Saviour who is keen to be introduced to them.
How do we approach this apparent impasse?
We have had a number of customers who have been pleasantly surprised to see pictures on the wall that show places of great beauty but are enhanced by complimentary scriptures that speak of the glory of God. Comments are made by customers and then we have the opportunity to share gospel truth.
Music is a great help towards building the right atmosphere. I have trawled around many cafes in order to glean useful information (that is only my excuse for having a cup of coffee!)regarding the running of a cafe. I am personally put off by hearing yet again the same music as I hear blasted at me in the shopping mall or the shops that I am dragged screaming into and having to look at endless racks of womens clothes. There are many places that leave me angry of spirit due to the awful racket coming over the sound system.
On one of my visits to Larssson's Cafe in Looe (possibly the best in town; well maybe the second best!) Martin was playing some opera, I am not a fan of opera but this music made the place seem even better. Where do you go and hear opera or classical music these days? You would be forgiven if you had concluded that the general public only likes music recorded in the last year or so. It is so boring and ordinary to hear the same sounds everywhere you go. The music makes the atmosphere. It is therefore important that we in the "Old Rusty" pay special attention to what we play. Our clientelle are largely of a certain age and so we ought to consider what we play as they enjoy their time of refreshment and rest. We want them to be relaxed and to feel at home. We have spent much time, effort and money in building a comfortable place to be and so we must keep the background music in keeping with what we are.
Why do I say this?
I have over the last few weeks been interspersing the regular music that we play with simple but gentle instrumental music and every time that it is put on their is comment made about how the cafe is a place of peace that it is lovely to be there. Jesus is of course the one who came to bring true peace (which is far more than a feeling of peace.) The peace that He brings far surpasses anything that we can do by our atmospherics but to be able to bring peace to the person gives us many opportunities to tell of the Prince of Peace.
As I write we have just been experiencing a night of heavy rain and high wind, it has been wild out there but at the moment peace is coming back to Looe. The wind is fading, the sound of rain is getting less and it is now feeling more peaceful. It is now 6:00am and I can return to bed for an hour before the day really begins.
People are living such busy lives that resemble a storm. For us to be an oasis of peace for them is important and we pray that we might be the vehicle that brings them into peace with God.