I stood in the line at Starbucks even though I was already about two hours late for work. No one in front of me looked back, and everyone behind me was mesmerized by either the menu on the wall ahead or by the soft blue glow coming from their palms. I had such a hard time getting up this morning. Usually, I don’t drink coffee unless it’s been a really rough morning, and I only get Starbucks if it’s been a succession of rough mornings. My weekend was non existent last week because I had to teach all day Saturday, then I left for Arkansas Sunday morning for work and just got back yesterday. Today is the only day I am going to spend in the office. Still, I’m looking forward to tomorrow.
As I stood in line, I questioned whether or not I should actually buy this coffee. I always have this struggle anymore whenever I spend money on something that doesn’t seem absolutely essential. “I need this coffee this morning.” I said to myself. My eyes have been opened just a little bit to the extreme wealth I enjoy in America as well as the extreme poverty around the world. I hear the need calling me to have compassion and I’m not sure how that should look in my life. I think, “How can I spend this money knowing how much it could do to provide medicine or food or water to someone who really needs it?” And even though we are adopting and are sponsoring a child what else should we be doing? Should I really just walk away and spend this four dollars on something else that will make a difference in someone’s life? But I’m really dragging this morning and if I don’t get a coffee, I may not be able to function. I readily admit, that last statement is pure exaggeration. But I say it so sincerely in my head that it almost sounds believable. All these thoughts went through my brain in an instant, before I could answer any of these question, the words, “Tall caramel machiatto, please” came out of my mouth and I stepped to the side to continue my contemplation.
Life is complicated sometimes.
What do you think? Did I make the right decision? What would you have done?