It came in the mail this week – my shiny Starbucks Gold Card.
Imprinted with my name, this card is more than a high class gift card. It allows me to get my favorite iced soy latte without paying 50 cents for the soy milk. It allows me to get a free refill when I just want straight, black coffee and can stick around to drink it. I can set it to auto-reload any time the balance drops below $10. And every 15th drink is free.
When I go to Starbucks.com I can see the beverages I’ve purchased represented by stars, being poured into my “cup” onscreen as I watch.
My friend Barbara got hers a couple of months ago. My friend Cyndie has had one forever, I think. I’m in good company as I order my beverage this morning, 100 miles from home, and I know that this card will connect me with another cup just like the one I’m holding now when I land thousands of miles away at the end of this day.
That’s the way I like my coffee.
And if I’m honest, that’s the way I like my life to pour out, too. No surprises. No variables. I want my non-fat chai to taste the same every time, and I want my day to go just as I’ve planned it, from sun-up to sun-down.
The organist at my church gave me a plaque for Christmas one year that says:
We Plan, God Laughs.
Even as I sit here drinking my controllable cup of java, I cling to the illusion of a life that can somehow be controlled by my own efforts.
After all, these are MY PLANS. MY AGENDA. MY ITINERARY. Right?
As a card-carrying Starbucks groupie, I am sold on what they’re selling.
But as a redeemed child of the Most High God I am still trying my hardest to change the menu. To make substitutions. To have things my way rather than to trust the Way of the One who called me. My tired human nature wants a road without speed bumps, a journey without detours, and membership in a club that requires little human interaction but comes with a sweet, personalized card.
All the privileges of membership.
No responsibility to anyone else but me.
“Do you love Me, Brita?”
Of course I love You!
“Then feed My sheep.”
Oh. Okay. Right after I order, God.
“Brita – do you love Me?”
“Feed My sheep.”
I can do that. Do you think they want syrup or an extra shot in theirs?
“My child, my daughter, my little girl… Do you love Me?”
Yes, I DO, Father.
“Then it’s time. It’s time that you feed My sheep.”
- Food, not coffee.
- Love, not membership.
- Life, not religion.
- Truth, not agendas.
I put the card back in my wallet.
I throw the empty cup away.
By the power of the Spirit, I am answering the call.