My husband, Terry hates to order for me at Starbucks. My drink has been the same for 4 years now, and he still doesn't have it down. I like an iced, tall, nonfat, two-pump mocha with no whip cream. It's just around 100 calories (thanks to omitting that 3rd pump of syrup) and it always, and I do mean always, hits the spot.
I didn't really get into Starbucks until after college (probably because that teeny college town in East Texas didn't have one back then! I still heart you, Java Jacks!). I was working at a Bridal Salon in the same shopping center as a Starbucks. I started off getting one frappucino in the morning. Then I kept graduating sizes until I was downing a Venti (for those of you who live in a hole and Mom, who hates coffee, that's a large). And by the time I quit that job I was up to at least two Ventis a day!
I've cut back, WAY back, since then.
And here's what I'm thinking about today...
Everyone who enjoys coffee has their set drink at Starbucks. Or maybe they've got a few favorites that they rotate through. We pull up or walk up to place an order and without much thought, we rattle off our wants, stringing together words that only make sense to Baristas.
And it's occurred to me that some of us might treat our prayer life in much the same way. "Ok, so it's time to pray. Are you ready for my order? Ok, here we go: Health, Money, Friends, New House, Fun at Church, Promotion at Work and, uh, World Peace."
We don't ask God what he'd like us to have. We place our order because, in much the same way that I know I'll enjoy that first sip of my mocha, we truly believe we know what's best for us.
We think we've got it all figured out. If God just grants us prayer requests A, B, and C, we'll make the rest of it work out. And like little children, we look out on the world without seeing the big picture and we say, "I want."
Now here's where the comparison between Starbucks and our Almighty Father has to end. When you order your coffee, I don't suggest that you tell the Barista that you'll have whatever he thinks is best for you. But I do hope that when you and I pray today, that that's what we say to God. Oh, I think He'd love for us to tell Him what we want. As long as we follow it up by acknowledging that we trust His choices for us better than our own.
So my Big Fat challenge for myself is to see a Starbucks, remember what He taught me today, and ask Him to teach me to pray.