Aside from giving up coffee and soda for Lent, I also gave up going to Starbucks. I love their tea, their smoothies, their lemon loaf… so I would have had many other reasons to go there aside from the “no coffee” rule.
I live in a town that has Starbucks in three different grocery stores. I was at one of those stores yesterday, and as I walked through the Bakery section, Starbucks was on the left and the smell hit me. Mmmmmmmm. I love the smell of coffee, especially the smell of Starbucks coffee. It immediately transports me back to seminary, because there was a Starbucks on every corner and it was a great place to study. You could usually find me at one of their locations on Thursday and Sunday nights, as well as Saturday mornings. (I lived in a house with 5 other girls so the house was not the best place to get some work done.)
Does anyone else feel their heart hurt when they long for something? I was exploring a Doctorate program at a seminary a few days ago and I got this ache. I feel it when I miss someone, or when I remember a tough time in my life, or I feel it when my heart breaks. It really just does feel like an ache… and painful sense of longing for something that I want to be different in my life. Sometimes it’s something I can change, sometimes it’s something I can’t, sometimes it’s something I need to work on, and when it comes to Lent, I recognizing it’s something I want to WANT to change. I didn’t feel that ache at Starbucks yesterday, but I didn’t recognize my emotion as “longing” and it got me thinking.
How lovely is your dwelling place,
O Lord of hosts!
My soul longs, yes, faints
for the courts of the Lord;
my heart and flesh sing for joy
to the living God. -Psalm 84:1-2
In desiring a grande soy caramel macchiato, I saw that my soul longs for the wrong things. So often, my soul longs for comfort (see my previous post). As I read through Psalm 84 today, I was struck by the last two verses:
For a day in your courts is better
than a thousand elsewhere.
I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God
than dwell in the tents of wickedness.
For the Lord God is a sun and shield;
the Lord bestows favor and honor.
No good thing does he withhold
from those who walk uprightly.
O Lord of hosts,
blessed is the one who trusts in you. – v. 10-12
I think it’s no coincidence that the last verse mentions trust in the Lord. It’s given me much to pause on this day.