I may have a fear of the drive thru. If I had to blame one person for this fear, I would blame my wife. She’s unpredictable at the speaker, the loose cannon of fast food ordering. You will never see me more uncomfortable than when I’m in the car with my wife at the drive thru. See, what she doesn’t realize is, fast food is fast food. It’s not like we are at a nice full service restaurant like Applebee’s, or standing in line at Burger King where we can have it our way. We’re at McDonalds – if it’s not on the menu, they can’t make it for you. We’ve had this conversation many times. I think at this point she makes special requests just to watch me squirm.
On one occasion she asked me to order a cheeseburger with Big Mac sauce on it. I have three problems with this. First, it’s not Big Mac sauce, it’s called special sauce and it’s a secret. Secondly, we shouldn’t disgrace the Big Mac by diluting it down to the level of a cheeseburger, it’s disrespectful. And lastly, that sounds ridiculous to say out loud. On another occasion I was forced to order two buttered biscuits. This happened during breakfast at McDonalds. I actually said those words into the speaker. Two buttered biscuits? Where do you think we are, Red Lobster? Do I have to leave a tip for the buttering of two biscuits? It was humiliating, and I’ve never been the same since.
See, when I order at McDonald’s, without my wife, I speak in numbers. Ronald and I have a system. There are no special orders. If I don’t want pickles, I will pick them off myself because that’s what Jesus would do.
Ordering at Starbucks is on another level. I’ve said things into the speaker at Starbucks that I never imagined I would say, and am still not entirely sure what all those words meant. First of all, I think we can all agree that Starbucks is a little ridiculous with the vocabulary. Instead of calling it large, we’ll call it Grande. Not only will this sound more delicious, it will also make it more expensive. It’s brilliant really. Every time I order at Starbucks I imagine that I’m on a hidden camera show. I imagine that there are cameras everywhere and a host inside laughing at me as I try to order coffee in French. It’s gotten to the point now that if I know we’re going to Starbucks at some point during the day, I make my wife drive. And if by some freak accident I find myself behind the wheel at Starbucks, my wife will shout her order from the passenger seat. We have a verbal contract on this scenario. She says it’s ridiculous because they will know when we get to the window that I was driving and she ordered, and she may have a point. But I don’t care. I’ve said “no whip” too many times. I can’t say those words anymore.
I think the real problem here is, I just don’t want to be an inconvenience. I don’t want to sound like a pain. Sometimes I feel this way about God, too. Sometimes I feel like I’m an inconvenience to Him. Sometimes I feel hesitant, or even embarrassed to ask him certain things. I’ll even preface my prayers with, “God, I know this is ridiculous to ask, but…”. Have you ever felt like that? Like you were an inconvenience to God, like a pain in His neck? Have you ever been reluctant to ask Him something because it sounded ridiculous? I think this is pretty normal, or at least I hope it is because I do it a lot. But the truth is, God wants to hear everything, even our most ridiculous fears, doubts, or questions. Really, He just wants to talk, to be close. The Bible says we should pray about everything, all the time. I think that’s pretty cool, that God wants to hear everything. It makes me want to talk to Him, to cast all my fears and troubles on His ears, no matter how ridiculous they sound in my own head. And we don’t even have to use big words or recite verses in the Bible, it’s just a conversation. It’s a conversation with a God we can trust, a God who longs to hear from us. He’s not like the guy at Starbucks, there are no hidden cameras. He’s the one person who won’t judge.