The Starbucks Syndrome

The Starbucks Syndrome

I remember the day quite clearly… It was your usual summer day in August, and I needed a caffeine pick-me-up.  So I did what I normally do, and drove to my local Starbucks.  Yet when I walked in I was utterly in disbelief that they had already started to sell their beloved Pumpkin Spice Latte.  Now don’t get me wrong, I am a big fan of PSL, but when it actually is autumn and a little cold outside, not when I am wearing shorts and flip flops.  Even more recently on the first day of November, I saw that Starbucks had immediately started to push the Holidays.  Red cups, holiday drinks, and trinkets galore.  It’s not even Thanksgiving yet, but I feel like I need to start thinking about Christmas right now or I’m missing out.  That somehow I need to get a head start and reach for things out of season.


And that’s what I believe is the “Starbucks Syndrome”… We want what we want now or else.  It’s my right to have what I want now.  Quicker the better.  Rest assure, I have nothing against Starbucks or any other businesses, but I feel like it hurts us when we apply the same mentality to faith.  We either try to strive and reach for something out of season or we feel bitter when something doesn’t happen because we feel entitled.  Whether it’s a new job, a promotion, a relationship, or even a promise from God, we feel as though we are owed it by God, and we deserve it right now.  I believe wholeheartedly that God can act in a moment and suddenly.  Yet what God wants to give us, He desires to give fully rather than quickly.  All things in the Kingdom of God are like a double-edged sword.  What is meant to bless you can actually destroy you if you do not have the character to steward well what He gives.  He wants us to be able to receive what He gives in His timing.  It’s His timing, not ours.  Isn’t that trust?  Because it’s about relationship after all.

He cares about our dreams, desires, and wants so much that He refuses to bless us prematurely.  It’s all about process!  He shapes us, molds us, corrects us, loves us, holds us, and on and on as we walk with Him daily.  In our relationship with Him, He wants to make us the type of person He can trust with His blessings and anointing, and He won’t give up at the first sign of our weaknesses, struggles, or failures because He is the God of covenant.  The work that He desires to do in us takes a lifetime.   God is more interested in the person we become more so than the things we will do for Him.  He’s not looking for just servants, but trusted friends.  He will stick with you through it all, and in turn He’s asking us to stick through with Him.  Our covenant with God is a two-way street.  It’s partnership.  It’s trust.  It’s knowing He has our best in mind and He only does what’s best.  Even when His best doesn’t seem like it.

If you look throughout Scripture, God takes years, often times decades, to accomplish His will in the person’s life.  Abraham is called at 75, but doesn’t see the realization of God’s promise until he is a 100.  Joseph has a dream at 17, but only after years of suffering does he get to see it come to pass.  David is anointed to be king as a teenager, but only coronated when he reaches his 30’s.  The list goes on and on.  And a lot of what happens in the meanwhile between promise and fulfillment doesn’t seem like “best”.  However God has never failed anyone, and He never will.

So no matter where you find yourself today, He is good.  He is always good!  There are no shortcuts to the promises of God, and there is no rushing the process, but He walks with us every step of the way.  On this journey and adventure, we are not alone.  More than what He gives or what He can do through us, it’s the truth that He will never leave us nor forsake us.  That He loves us.  In the waiting, He loves us.  In the trials and testing, He loves us.  In fulfillment, He loves us.  And even when promises don’t come to pass, He loves us still.

Check out this powerful excerpt from A Work of Heart: Understanding How God Shapes Spiritual Leaders by Reggie McNeal to get a better picture of how God works in our lives…

“God’s first assignment for Paul did not involve immediate fulfillment of the vision of his new life. The promise that he would preach to Gentiles and kings would take years to be fulfilled.  A long interim, beginning in the wilderness, would relegate Paul to relative obscurity for a decade.

Paul wound up in Tarsus, hardly a glamorous assignment… Had Paul pushed for earlier, “better” assignments, he may have had his ministry shortened by a too-early martyrdom, or he may not have emerged prepared enough to be the leader he became.

Sometimes the temptation is to manipulate situations and assignments to try to get positioned for a better platform, so God can “use them” in a “bigger” way.

Too early promotion can mean too short a ministry… The lure of the limelight has caused many leaders to miss the maturing of the commonplace. By fast-tracking themselves into premature leadership, they get into situations that are over their heads.

God uses the commonplace to build character, to expand the leader’s heart by layering experience and learning that must be available to the leader for larger assignments.

God uses a preparation model for developing leaders, not a planning model… Those who plan their ministries in advance often get where they want to go, but along the way they lose the anointing that comes only with radical obedience and trusting God to fulfill the dreams He gives… Trusting God with their destiny, they would end up with influence they never could have pulled off on their own.”




  1. Hey P Sam, thanks for sharing.

    I agree with you so much…
    Since when does Christmas season start in October, right?

    But on a more serious note, I read something recently from Oswald Chambers’ My Utmost For His Highest that draws a parallel to your thought process- I’ll post it here for you in case you haven’t seen it before-

    “If you are going to be used by God, He will take you through a number of experiences that are not meant for you personally at all. They are designed to make you useful in His hands, and to enable you to understand what takes place in the lives of others. Because of this process, you will never be surprised by what comes your way. You say, “Oh, I can’t deal with that person.” Why can’t you? God gave you sufficient opportunities to learn from Him about that problem; but you turned away, not heeding the lesson, because it seemed foolish to spend your time that way.

    The sufferings of Christ were not those of ordinary people. He suffered “according to the will of God” (1 Peter 4:19), having a different point of view of suffering from ours. It is only through our relationship with Jesus Christ that we can understand what God is after in His dealings with us. When it comes to suffering, it is part of our Christian culture to want to know God’s purpose beforehand. In the history of the Christian church, the tendency has been to avoid being identified with the sufferings of Jesus Christ. People have sought to carry out God’s orders through a shortcut of their own. God’s way is always the way of suffering— the way of the “long road home.”

    Are we partakers of Christ’s sufferings? Are we prepared for God to stamp out our personal ambitions? Are we prepared for God to destroy our individual decisions by supernaturally transforming them? It will mean not knowing why God is taking us that way, because knowing would make us spiritually proud. We never realize at the time what God is putting us through— we go through it more or less without understanding. Then suddenly we come to a place of enlightenment, and realize— “God has strengthened me and I didn’t even know it!”

    Praying for Pursuit NYC!

    • that’s good! love it. thank you for the prayers. much needed and appreciated 😀

  2. Zammmmnnn, that was awesome P.Sam! Thank you for all that you do- <3

    • thnx for the love, will! 🙂

  3. Just what I needed to read. Thanks PS!

    • 🙂


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