Joe Nobody & your place where nobody knows your name

There is a coffee shop in Arlington, VA that I love to stop at. It’s call Northside Social. It’s a small coffee shop by day, wine shop at night. It has free wifi access and the environment is very young adultish (i.e., there are a lot of 20 and 30 somethings here). As I am closer to 40 than I am 30, this kind of environment really helps me cling to my youth to some degree (right until I go to the bathroom and see my gray hair coming in more and more). The only real downer on this place is that the coffee isn’t that great (although I do get a free refill, so that is nice).

When I go to Northside Social I bring a book to read, my MacBook to do some writing, a notebook to jot down new ideas and my iPhone because I love my iPhone. This is my hiding place. No one knows me here and in the midst of the trendy coffee/wine connoisseurs in this place, I’m just “Joe Nobody”. And I like that. Because, this is where I go to hide. This is where I go to think through things. This is where I go to be by myself. This is my hiding place.

placeDo you have a hiding place? Do you have a spot where you can go and be alone, where nobody knows your name? Do you have a place where you can be “Joe Nobody”?

I know this sounds odd that I am encouraging you to go get lost & vanish, but my encouragement and challenge to you is to find a place where you can break away from the daily grind and focus. It doesn’t have to be a coffee shop. It can be a secluded place in the park or a never used place in your church building (I have a friend who used to go up to the church steeple sometimes to get away). Wherever you choose to go, make it your own and take some time regularly to spend up there. Again not so you can vanish from relevance but so you can focus & spend some time with God & yourself.

In the daily grind of life, time alone is a precious commodity – especially when you start to have children of your own. TAKE A MINUTE right now think of a few places you could go. Then go and try them out and see which place makes you feel the most comfortable & productive.

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Tom Pounder

A father of 4, Tom is the Online Campus Pastor as well as Social Media Director at New Life Christian Church in Chantilly, VA. He blogs, vlogs, periscopes and podcasts regularly about student and online ministry stuff. Check out his work at and on iTunes (search YMSidekick).

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