ask, what exactly can standing in line at Starbucks
teach us about the Christian walk? As I see
it, it goes something like this:
scoot off to Starbucks this morning to get my
morning caffeine since my coffeemaker is already
packed for the move. I have to cross a lot of lanes
of traffic in order to make a left turn out of the
driveway where I live, and it usually takes some
time to get across, especially during prime morning
coffee hours. But not this morning.
Smooth sailing. Clear path. Not a car in
sight. I breezed out of the driveway, across
the various lanes and the median and I'm on my way.
Woo hoo! Chai soy latte, here I come. Of
course, as I'm apt to do sometimes, I immediately
equated my good fortune in catching a break in the
traffic pattern as a portent of things to come for
the day. Crazy, I know.
high from this "sign" of the easy-breezy, no hassle
day that's coming my way, I zip into the Starbucks
parking lot, find a front door space and head
inside... only to come to a screeching halt behind
some twenty people in line. So much for my
easy-breezy day! I tend to be an impatient
person about such things and would normally about
face and head back out the door, grumbling along the
way with anger at the world because I did not get
exactly what I wanted when I wanted it. But I
really wanted that chai tea, and I had the
time, so I stuck it out. And as I stood in
line, I observed the various comings and goings and
happenings at the Starbucks on West Gate Boulevard.
that the woman working the register and taking
orders knew by name a majority of the people who
came to the counter. She said things like,
"Wow, Karen, you've really lost some weight!" or "Hi
Jim. Your wife was in here already.
What, do you wake up at different times?" or "Good
morning, Michael. Let's see, I've rung up your
usual. Anything else?" or "I haven't seen you
in a while, Barbara. Welcome back!" And for
newbies like me, she asked my name upon my order,
and thanked me by name as I went to stand in line to
wait (again) for my drink to be me made.
waiting, I noticed a basket full of "fair trade"
coffee. (Purchasing fair trade products helps
keep small farmers from spiraling into poverty.
www.equalexchange.com and become a supporter!)
I noticed a basket of books with a sign above it
that said, "We're supporting
Literacy Austin. Please bring us your
books." (Literacy Austin promotes adult literacy and
teaches English as a second language.) I
noticed a rack of CDs featuring collections of
various artists' favorite songs (e.g., a compilation
of Norah Jones' favorite tunes). And I spied a
stack of newspapers, waiting to be snatched up and
can standing in line at Starbucks teach us about the
Christian walk? This: Each of us is
precious in God's sight. He calls us each by
name and treasures us. No matter how we
approach God or when or how often, our loving Parent
is there to receive us, with warm welcome and smile.
Sometimes our journeys will be easy-breezy, the path
clearly paved. And sometimes, oftentimes, we
find we have to wait on God. It's
understandable to feel impatient, but stick it out.
We simply must trust that those times of waiting
will produce for us exactly what we need. God
always knows exactly what we need. And as
we're journeying-- while moving and while waiting
--we are called to treat others fairly and honorably
and with dignity; to use our time and our resources
to assist our sojourners; to sing psalms and hymns
and spiritual songs regularly; and to read the Word
Grace and peace
to you as you journey.
Yours in Christ,