“Your order is ready!” We hear people from different places of business, usually the food business, say those words. They say this to us because we have obviously decided to order something, then we placed the order, they have prepared what we have asked for, and now they are delivering the order. Yes, I understand I’m not telling you something you don’t already know. But it was when the barista said this to me just a moment ago, I came face to face with a reminder of an area of my life.
Imagine placing an order at Starbucks (or your favorite coffee/tea house). They prepare your drink. Then they say, “Your order is ready!” and they bring it to you. You’re expecting a great tasting coffee, but when you take a sip you discover it is by far the worst cup of coffee you’ve ever had in your entire life! But here’s the catch-you can’t return it and you have to drink it each and every day; sometimes throughout the entire day. But you have no choice, you must drink it. Let me explain.
You see, I am divorced (now remarried). I have a stepdaughter and a son who live in Eugene and both live with their mother. They are able to come up to Portland every two weeks (the usual visitation). Without getting into the details, I will tell you this: I placed an order several years ago, the preparer prepared my order, and over the last several years the preparer has been delivering my order each and every day.
Each morning I wake-up and every night I go to bed (and everything in-between) my order is delivered and it looks like this:
Barista: “Jamie! Jamie! Wake-up! Your order is ready!”
Me: “Huh…..(wiping my eyes)…umm…OK. I’m up.”
Barista: “Here’s your order…Sir.”
Me: “Go away.”
Barista: “I can’t. You ordered and that’s it. Take your order.”
Me: “Not today. Please. Just let me be for a minute.”
Barista: “Sorry. You know the rules.”
Me: “Forget the rules. Just leave me alone for a while.”
Barista: “Listen, you’ll take your order or I’ll force it on you and you’ll take it the hard way. You don’t want THAT bad of a day do you???”
Me: “No. OK fine. I’ll take it now.”
Barista: “Not that you need reminding, but it’s my job to remind you today what you ordered years ago. I know you already know, but I have to remind you. Jamie, you ordered:
-a divorce, which included a perceived solution to your Grande unhappiness, resulting in one Venti act of leaving your two kids behind, bi-weekly visitation (you thought that was enough).
And Jamie, today that will cost you:
-the opportunity to wake-up your children each morning.
-the opportunity to put them to bed each night.
-the opportunity to hug them today.
-the opportunity to tell them you love them face to face today.
-the opportunity to eat breakfast and dinner with them today.
-the opportunity to watch them walk into their schools today.
-the opportunity to go to all of their athletic & school events.
-the opportunity to take them to church every Sunday.
-the opportunity to drive them to school every day (like your dad did with you).
-the opportunity to…
Me: “STOP!!! I know!!! Can’t you see that I’ve learned my lesson! I KNOW!!! Stop with the torture! Why are you doing this to me!”
Barista: “You did this!!! Not me! This is what you ordered Mr. Worley! No one else ordered this! You ordered this! So take it and drink it b/c you have to! You don’t have a choice!”
Me: (tears streaming down my face…I pick-up the poison I concocted and then ordered. With hands shaking, I lift the cup to my mouth forcing myself to open my lips. I want to just sip the bitter drink, but that will just prolong the experience. But will it ever end anyway? So I snap the top of the cup off and chug the drink until it’s gone. It seemed like forever. Almost like there was more in there than I thought. I kept looking for the white bottom of my cup, but it was like I couldn’t drink enough. Choking almost, I finished the drink. The cup was crumpled a little from gripping it and the tears were now streaming down my neck.)
The rest of the day I felt a little numb. Just going through the motions of getting the necessary things done. Some days I fight through and am highly productive and some days I feel like I’m dragging Santa’s toy bag around, as I have so many gifts to offer but things are just too heavy inside (pain) to get to the people.
I will be OK. The kids will be OK. God is gracious. And I give this to God daily. He gives me the strength to operate, but it’s all His strength. And God guarantees three things to those who love Him and are surrendered to Jesus Christ: 1) the forgiveness of all sins, 2) He will never leave us alone, and 3) eternal life with Him. God has forgiven me, He has never left my side, and I know I’ll spend eternity with Him. God never promises to take the consequences of our actions away. Sometimes He does, yes. But don’t expect it. That would be unwise. I am happily remarried to the most wonderful and godly woman I have ever know and our blended family includes a total of five children, who love each other dearly; they have adjusted very, very well…miraculous really. God has blessed me beyond what I deserve in spite of myself. But what I ordered is still delivered to me each and every day.
Maybe you’re reading this today and you understand this struggle and this ongoing pain. Listen to me, hang in there. Hang on! God will pull you through. Our hope isn’t in things getting better or a better tomorrow. Our hope is in the one who holds tomorrow, God. You must give this to Him each and every moment it arises. You can’t do it on your own strength. You need Him and so do I.
Maybe you don’t know Jesus Christ as your Lord & Savior. Call on His name right now. Surrender to Him. God sent Him to die on the cross so your sins could be forgiven and so you could have life. He will put His Spirit within you and your life will never be the same. Call on Him now.
If you don’t get anything from this blog, get this:
The decisions you place today…pray over them and ask God for wisdom. The orders you place today are written in ink…permanent. And the barista will deliver your order each and every day. Are you ready for that? Are you ready to place your order today? Order carefully. Order carefully.
Please read Proverbs 2.