#2 Delayed Gratification

I was at Starbucks for two reasons. First, to enjoy a little coffee and Bible reading before stepping into the office and secondly, honestly, it felt inspiring to be around so many professionals reading, writing, and preparing for their day. Four dollars is a lot to pay for a grande Americano with three scoops of vanilla bean powder and that thought often crossed my mind.

“John just bought that car you see out there”, said Phil. You should have seen the clunker he’s been driving around for years. “Delayed gratification”, John reasoned. “I just chose to invest and save instead of spend.”

(Who are John and Phil? Find out here.)

“Its a lost art,” Phil added, “we want what our parents had and what we grew up with, so we go into debt to get it now instead of paying cash.”

John, in his more blunt and matter of fact way said what I was hoping would not come up at this point, “There are people in here buying drinks they can pay for, but cannot afford.” He was not directing that comment at me, right?

But this wasn’t about buying an overpriced coffee or a luxury sports car. It meant more. It meant thinking before acting, it meant fewer impulsive decisions, in every area of my life, not just with money.

As an Executive Pastor there are times when change needs to happen but the right people are not onboard or the finances are not adequate and the desire is to move forward anyways. Often, the result is that we leave people behind, feelings get hurt or we burden the churches finances beyond what is healthy.

One of my weaknesses is wanting to see our church, look and act like one of the “big” churches. It is not uncommon for a smaller church to drink the Starbucks coffee when in reality they would fit in much better with the Dunkin’ Donuts coffee crowd. Not forever, but for right now.

Psalms 27:14 (NASB) Wait for the Lord; Be strong and let your heart take courage; Yes, wait for the Lord.


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