Where is the macchato?

starbucks13.jpgDid you know that on February 26th, Starbucks closed the doors of 7,100 stores across America for approximately 3 ½ hours? Maybe you experienced the personal horror of it all? The inconvenience? The thirst? The caffeine withdraw? The delirium tremens that causes one’s body to shiver and shake due to lack of hot mocha lattes? Oh the suffering! Oh the humanity! How dare Starbucks interrupt our java obsession to devote time to better train its 135,000 baristas. The goal – to ensure they can produce “the perfect shot, steam milk to order and customize their favorite beverage.”

Ok. Is it just me or does anyone else think too much was made over this whole event? Some people freaked out. You’d of thought someone stole 3 ½ hours of oxygen? Seriously, if you can’t deal with the loss of Starbuck’s coffee for 210 minutes [12,600 seconds] on a Tuesday afternoon – you just may have a problem. Don’t people have other things to do? I mean, who is that addicted to caramel macchiatos they can’t find something else to occupy a couple hours? During the time Starbucks stores were closed, you could…

-have your hair color changed – complete with highlights, which takes about 3 hours.
-watch almost all nominated short films.
-play an NFL football game.
-roast an 8 –12lb turkey.
-organize your closet.

After making the most of you’re time – you could then return to the reopened temple of bean nectar and worship a double espresso.

Is this what we’ve come to as a culture? Where our lives are thrown into miserable disarray by the brief closing of one coffee business? Perhaps. Why? I’m guessing it’s because in America we equate happiness with comfort. But is there any connection? More significantly, is there potentially a point where excess comfort [or coffee] actually dilutes joy?

But it’s not just about coffee establishments and our attachment to them. Cars today have ‘personal climate controls’ so drivers and passenger need not negotiate a mutually agreeable temperature. Does this make us giddy? On our bed at home, my wife and I have a heated mattress cover with two separate thermostats. That way, I can set my side on moderate warmth and she can push her side up to ten or what I like to call volcanic magma. It provides our own ‘personal comfort.’ We embrace these technologies and conveniences. Why shouldn’t everyone enjoy their own personal comfort level, be it in car or bed? What do we have to lose?

Maybe what’s at risk is true joy, deep gratitude and genuine contentment. If we get so easily upset about coffee [or the lack thereof] how do we handle the real important things of life?

While there are no Scripture texts that speak directly about java, the writer of Hebrews states, “Be content with what you have, because God has said, ‘Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” Is that true even if we can’t get into Starbucks for frappuccino?

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re: the random-ness

Husband. Father. Senior Pastor of Parkview Community Church in Glen Ellyn, IL.

Ok...so you've located the place where I put down my random thoughts. The key word here is random: music, sports, art, food, books, news, spiritual musings, weird stories, etc. I'm especially interested in how everyday experiences of life intersect with the ancient stories of Scripture. Thanks for reading.
March 2008
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Thoughts gone by

"No problem can withstand the assault of substantial thinking." Voltaire



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