3 O'clock





This morning my day started out with tears.  Tears of gladness and also of humility.  You see we are in a place financially where every penny we spend is accounted for. So when mom and I decided to treat ourselves to a couple of Starbucks White Chocolate Mocha Decaf coffees and breakfast sandwiches you need to understand we did not do so lightly.  Fifteen dollars—about what this would cost us—needed to be considered.  We struggled thinking maybe we should just get the coffee to keep the costs down?  In the end we conceded--the coffee and the sandwiches won.

Thankfully Starbucks is close by as gas is still not cheap, and it has a drive-thru.  Ok, so maybe we should have gone in to save on gas; however, in our defense we had our dog in the car and neither mom nor I was presentable for a public appearance of any kind. 

As usual the line was long and we had not had any coffee yet so the word cranky took on full meaning for both of us. We were treating ourselves this morning so tried to take everything in stride.  At least at first.

You see there was a younger woman in a really nice white, BMW SUV in front of us and she was—like all young women now-a-days—texting while waiting.  Now you realize of course this makes the line move rather slowly, right?  And did I mention we had not had any coffee yet? 

Texting, even while sitting at a drive through, or at a red light for that matter, needs to be done with thoughtfulness for the person, or persons in this case, in the car behind you. You understand?  

For instance, if I am texting at a red light I need to be constantly looking up and down so when the light changes I am fully aware and begin moving so as not to cause the person behind me the stress of missing a green light because I am slow on the gas.  Got it?  Okay, moving on.

So this woman in front of me was not paying attention to the ever growing line of cars behind her. And I, being the voice of reason here, got extremely close on her bumper hoping she would get the hint.  You see, I am the kind of person who likes things to keep moving in fear that all the balls I am ‘air juggling’ will fall if I stop for just one moment and smell the roses.   Can you relate?  Of course you can.  We all do it.

In fairness, I should tell you this young woman was not actually lagging all that much.  She just wasn’t as close to the car in front of her as I thought she should be and she wasn’t moving as fast as I wanted her to when the cars ahead of her moved.  

I, however, became very impatient and started making comments.  Not anything terrible you understand.  Just little comments like, “What is wrong with this woman?  Is she afraid to drive her car?”  Mumble, mumble.  “Can’t she judge the distance of her front end?  Oh, I see now.  She is texting.  Probably getting orders for friends" I grumbled to mom.  Of course my windows were up, and so were hers, thankfully she couldn't hear me.  That makes it OK, doesn't it? 


I just kept going, “You know, drive thru should be limited to only like two orders per car, don’t you think?” I asked my mother.  Now getting my mom on board with my grumbling.  “Starbucks takes long enough as it is but when someone goes through a drive-thru and orders like four and five blended coffees that is just inconsiderate. They should go in.”

Can I just remind you this was a special treat morning —a special blessing from God morning—for mom and me; yet, here I was sitting in my car mumbling at the lady in front of me for not getting as close to the car in front of her as I thought she should be.  Did I mention I got extremely close to her back bumper thinking I could get her to move closer to car in front of her?  I was after all thinking of the others behind me and trying to make room for them who were trying to get out of the road and into the now very long line.  

Maybe some of you reading this can relate and have exercised the same kind of behavior as I did this morning. (Behavior by-the-way I am not proud of so please don’t judge me.) 

But you know what I love about our God?  He always teaches us a lesson in humility when we think we our mornings are more special than other peoples mornings.  Honestly, that is what this boiled down to for me.  I wanted to have a great ‘blessings’ morning and in my eyes this young woman—who had no idea who I was, what my struggles have been over this past year, or just how important and special this particular visit to Starbucks was to me and my mom—was spoiling my ‘blessing’ morning.  It was all about me.  Yet God, in His amazing grace and love for me, decided to teach me a lesson in humility. 

Finally, after what seemed an eternity—funny how when we are grumbling things seem to take forever isn't it—I was able to place my order and still the woman in front of me was ‘lollygagging’ on her phone.  She paid—via her smart phone I might add—and received her coffee.  Then to add insult to injury she apparently needed an empty cup and held out her phone to again pay for the cup.  Did she do this on purpose just to irritate me a little more?  Honestly, this is what I thought.

As I drove up to the window to get my coffee and sandwiches I got the payment ready.  The cashier did not follow the usual procedure of taking the payment first. Instead, she handed me our sandwiches and a few seconds later our coffee.  I started to give her my credit card, thinking she had been so busy she forgot to get payment, when she looked and me smiling broadly and said, “The lady in front of you paid for your breakfast this morning.” 

“What?” I asked completely flabbergasted and totally embarrassed.

“Yes, ma’am.  You are good to go. And she said to tell you to pass it on when you are able.”

“Oh my goodness," I gasped, "thank you.” 

The cashier smiled and said, “Have a great day!”

As I drove away I looked at mom and we both said at the same time, “Praise you God” and thanked the young woman in the car who was now well on her way.

Then I started to cry.  Not because of the lady’s generosity, although I was exceedingly grateful, but because God had taught me a very important lesson that hit home instantly with me. 

You see He had already tried to give me a blessing by allowing us to be able to go out for a special treat.  I focused instead on my lack of patience.  Instead of being joyful for what God was doing for me at that moment, I allowed the enemy to steal my joy using my own lack of self-control to take away a blessing.  God, in His perfect way, reminded me His blessings are not to be taken lightly or without gratitude.   

As you celebrate this Christmas season, remember the blessings God has given you this past year and look forward to the many blessings He will bring to you in the many years to come. And if by some chance you are the recipient of one of the blessings like I experienced today, be sure to thank God and ask Him to bless the giver.  Then, pass it on whenever you get the chance.  

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all who read this!

Always loving our Lord,

Lori Robbins

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