Meeting Places

Inspiration MinistriesBy Inspiration Ministries2 Minutes

During ancient times, a city’s gates were important places of social interaction and commerce, both for visitors and citizens. For example, the Bible describes Lot sitting at the gate of Sodom (Genesis 19:1). How David sat between two gates (2 Samuel 18:24). How Mordecai sat by a gate in Babylon (Esther 5:13). How Abraham sat near a gate when he negotiated the purchase of land to bury his wife, Sarah.

In similar ways, throughout time, coffeehouses emerged as frequent meeting places. While London often is associated with tea, in fact, years ago it was a center for coffee and coffeehouses.

In his book about coffee, Stewart Lee Allen describes how, in 1680, Lloyd’s Coffeehouse in London became a meeting place for sea captains and merchants eager to discuss news about shipping. These conversations turned into a game.

Some regulars “started offering odds on which ships would make it to port. If an owner’s ship stayed afloat, he lost the best and Lloyd’s kept his money.” This evolved into a kind of insurance policy, which actually helped inspire an increase in British shipping activity.

The coffeehouse part of Lloyd’s venture eventually failed, but it morphed into Lloyd’s of London, Ltd., which became the world’s biggest insurance company.

We never know what may emerge from our conversations or efforts. The Bible reminds us that God calls us to be vigilant to use all the resources He gives us, and develop the opportunities that come our way. Always trusting our way to Him.