Starbucks University

Starbucks Vivanno (photo by tsuh)

This morning I rewarded myself for getting up and going to the gym with a trip to Starbucks.  The drive-through was packed, so I waited patiently a little ways back from the queue so as not to block traffic.  While I was waiting patiently this big black GMC SUV pulled up slightly behind me and I thought she was letting someone out to go inside and order.  After a few minutes, though, I realized she wanted by, so I pulled over and let her through.  Only she didn’t want by me to leave, she had the audacity to CUT IN FRONT OF ME in the drive-through!

 I was appalled. 

I was livid.

Words escaped me.  Well, not really because I started preaching her funeral from behind the rolled-up windows of my car.

 Then I turned and saw two women sitting out on the patio sipping their lattes, laughing at what had just happened.  They couldn’t possibly have been laughing at anything else.  One of them stared right at me. 

 Without hesitation, while I continued preaching, I pulled in behind the big black monstrosity that had cut me off, no longer caring about blocking traffic for the rest of the Starbucks clientele.  Nobody else was going to get in front of me. I had waited long enough.  I mean, after all, I had been sitting there ten whole minutes.  Well, maybe seven or eight, but who’s counting, right?  It’s the principle of the matter.

The ranting continued.  Complete with hand gestures that would convince anyone that there’s Italian blood in me somewhere up the line.  Or a jackass. 

I stared her down in the rearview mirror, waiting for her to make eye contact.  Don’t lose it, Sally, don’t say anything you’ll regret, or that she can surmise just from reading your lips.  Don’t say what you’re really thinking.  What if she turns out to be someone you know?  Or who knows you?  Who knows what you do?

Okay.  I can do this.  I restrained myself and only called her a dumb butt.

And then it struck me, as though you were sitting right there beside me.  This isn’t the way you’d respond to this situation, is it?  You’d realize how trivial this is in the whole scheme of things, and yet at the same time, you also know precisely where it’s coming from in me.  You know that it’s from the heart of a little girl who grew up in an environment where she was sometimes cut off, forgotten, ignored.  Where learning to balance standing up for yourself and turning the other cheek was often confusing.  And yet you know what it feels like to be cut off.  Forgotten.  Ignored.  

I’m glad you understand and love the little girl in me.  It helps me want to be the follower you call me to be – to be the woman who doesn’t get bent out of shape because somebody cut her off at the Starbucks drive-through.  I’m becoming more of that woman than I used to be, but I’m still not there.

By the time I drove up to the window to pay, I had calmed down. 

And it didn’t cost me a dime, because the car ahead of me had paid for my drink.

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15 Comments Add yours

  1. Summer says:

    Oopsie…don’t you hate it when you get all riled up and have completely monster-ized that awful person who made you mad…then they do something nice or ask forgiveness or what have you…or, you remember that you did that very same thing to someone else 5 minutes ago…being Christian is a fun ride if nothing else 🙂

  2. Tara says:

    To every action there is a consequence. Every choice, every decision, every move committed results in a response, a consequence. We tend to think of the word consequence as a negative term, possibly because we associate it with discipline and receiving the “consequence of our actions”; but in reality, the concept and idea of consequence is neither positive or negative, it just is.

    I could go into the story of my evening at work a few years ago, but I won’t. I won’t because it would simply be me ranting and raving about the nurse I followed and then the nurse that followed me. There is no benefit in my complaining. There is no benefit in my rant. The issue is really centered on actions, attitudes, personal responsibility, and the result of those things, or the consequences.

    We never know the rest of the story in life. We do things all the time and have no real way of knowing how they will affect others. Sometimes, unbeknownst to us, we commit actions that will have an effect 20 years from now on someone we may never meet or we commit an action in response to a situation that happened 20 years before on someone who had nothing to do with the previous situation. When we stop to ponder the power, the effect, and the impact our actions, even our most minor actions, have on others, it should cause us to evaluate our motives.

    My actions result in consequences that effect other people. If those consequences have a negative effect on others, then they may take actions and make decisions based on those consequences that result in negative consequences for another. Little acts can so easily be like dominoes, effecting everyone in their path. The same can be true for positive consequences though. Understanding this concept and evaluating this paradigm can result in an overwhelming burden of responsibility to chose every action with careful thought; it can also be very empowering to evaluate the potential impact our actions can have on another.

    We truly have complete control over our actions, our attitudes, and our motives. Free will to use in determining our purpose. It is a great gift to be the captain of one’s soul. We do not always acknowledge this gift. The consequences of our actions however acknowledge us and leave behind our legacy for others to encounter.

    Such is the legacy of the Man sitting with you in the car.

    So thankful you are driving.

    1. sallygary says:

      Beautiful. Thanks, Tara. I’m glad He’s in the car with me, too. We do just fine as long as the little girl in me doesn’t grab the wheel and try to start driving the car! She’s most content riding in His lap – buckled in – where she feels safe and oh, so loved.

  3. Zack says:

    You must have been at the Buffalo Gap Starbucks… Worst parking lot ever! LOL!

    Sally, you are so right about walking the line between standing up for yourself and turning the other cheek. It is something I struggle with on a daily basis. In fact I have learned when I hear myself start those preaching sessions with, “NOT THIS TIME…” That it is time, time to back off and reassess the situation.

    Thank you for this post!

    1. sallygary says:

      He loves us “preacher” boys & girls, though, doesn’t he?! Sure thankful for that.

  4. Incredible. I so love you, Sal! So glad you’re my sister!

    1. sallygary says:

      So glad you’re my bubba!

  5. Ed says:

    Whoa. You went to “school” this morning, didn’t ya?. Great lesson…Love you, Sally.

    1. sallygary says:

      Yes, Ed, & I’ve got homework! Love you too.

  6. mtangiepit says:

    Thanks for sharing, Sally!! A great lesson for all of us.

    1. sallygary says:

      A lesson I need repeated often!

  7. PeggyCorder says:

    Wow, Sally. I can so relate to your story today! Just a few weeks ago the same thing happened to me. The only difference was I was in line for the ferry at Galveston. I even shouted at a passing patrol car pulling over someone else that the man in front of me had cut in line! My blood pressure was boiling. Later, I wondererd where that had come from. Your story today gave me some insight. Thanks for that! Love you and Happy Easter to you! He is risen and I am His…….changing to the likeness of Him!

    1. sallygary says:

      Yes, aren’t we glad He loves the little girls in all of us who feel so forgotten and passed by sometimes? It’s the power of Easter, though, that transforms us – love you too, Peggy!

  8. Lisa says:

    Oh, wow… I have so been there.

    1. sallygary says:

      So good to know I’m not alone!

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