Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things. -Robert Brault
I was in the drive-thru line at Starbucks before taking my oldest daughter to dance class one Wednesday morning. She was in the back seat objecting to attending said dance class, my younger daughter was fussing, and I had gotten us all ready and out the door on time, looking like decent humans, without having any coffee. There was no way I was going to wrestle my semi-mobile, want-to-eat-every-particle-of-trash-or-thing-within-reach baby in the dance studio lobby for an hour without having had any caffeine. Perhaps I’m too young to be so hooked on the bean, but with young kids, I don’t know how anyone isn’t.
I ordered my grande caramel macchiato and waited rather impatiently to reach the window to obtain my steaming, frothed piece of coffee heaven. Too many voices echoed from the back seat of my car. I NOT GO TO DANCE CWASS and other unintelligible phrases from behind me repeated over and over again as the line moved at a snail’s pace. As I drowned them out and tuned in to my own thoughts, God spoke to me.
The car in front of you is going to pay for your drink. You pay for the car behind you.
I laughed thinking I was probably having some magical-thinking moment due to caffeine deprivation. I was still a little excited at the chance this was true, though. I have paid for other people’s drinks in the line at Starbucks before, but never had mine paid for — not that I expected a return for my kindness. The small, white sedan in front of me pulled away. Finally, I had reached my yearned for destination. I was prepared to hand over my payment for the cup of liquid gold, but Sam, the barista working the window said the car in front of me had paid for my order. You’d think after hearing God tell me that was going to happen I wouldn’t have been as surprised as I was. Without hesitation I extended my card anyway and said I’d pay for the order following mine. He politely smiled and said, “Oh, well, actually they ordered more than just one drink,” suggesting I probably would not want to cover the full cost. I told him I would pay for it all. I had specific instruction from the Lord, mind you… but I would be lying if I didn’t also tell you I kindly asked God for it not to cost more than like, $25 (ha!).
The order was $23 and some change. I laughed to myself and joked that God cut it close. Sam commented on how kind it was that I still wanted to pay for their order, even though it was pricier than the cost of a single coffee. Truly, I quite enjoyed it. God made me smile, and I was making Him smile right back. And while that much was a sweet kiss from heaven on a little bit of a rough morning, it was what Sam the barista working the drive-thru told me next that made my day.
“Earlier this morning we had 25 cars in a row pay for the car behind them!” He proclaimed with more excitement than most people working at a drive-thru window might. I am quite certain that kind of stuff happening all the time makes Sam’s job more enjoyable and interesting. But for me that morning, I (and Sam, too) got a little glimpse of God at work, doing great big things in a narrow drive-thru line. That scenario has yet to leave my mind. For most people it was a small, four-ish dollar coffee on a Wednesday morning for free. But that simple (or complicated per preference) cup of coffee was a glimmer of hope, specifically to them, from their maker!
I’m reminded of a lyric from the beautiful song, “What Do I Know of Holy,” by Addison Road.
Then I caught a glimpse of who you might be. The slightest hint of you brought me down to my knees.
I have thought many times since that morning, of how great His works are all around me — those I’m noticing and those I’m not. Just because I do not notice His presence in the small moments of my day, does not mean He isn’t trying to capture my attention, have fun with me, and speak to me. I want to be so in tune with my Jesus that the little things are really the big things, that if my coffee is paid for it is more than just a free cup of coffee. It is my Savior telling me He LOVES me, He is romancing me, and I can have hope for my day — for my life. I want to catch glimpses of who He is and be so caught up in the little things that I fall to my knees, overwhelmed with His sweetness and tender mercies. If I can be so in sync with His Spirit, and so moved by the little things, I can live a life that’s a little sweeter, a little freer, with a whole lot of joy and astonishment for His acts of kindness all around me. I want to witness Him, like Sam in the drive-thru, watching God’s great love for people echo twenty five times over, within an hour or two.
Great are the works of the Lord, studied by all who delight in them. Psalm 111:2
Are you studying what is going on around you and looking for a lot of love in your surroundings? Chances are you’ll find Him in so many areas of your life or little moments of your day. Maybe you could even be His hands and feet and do something nice for someone else, to echo His love for them, too. Take a hold of every second of every day to look for His love. It really is all around you.
by Jacqueline Fox