Choices and Decisions


The question sounds innocent and straightforward enough, right? Or maybe not! I went to Starbucks one morning around 8:00 and ordered: “a cup of coffee, please.” 

“Would you like Frappuccino, Expresso, iced, or brewed?

“Just a hot cup of regular ole’ coffee, please…

“What flavor?”


“We have Cinnamon, cherry, dark cherry, peppermint, caramel, or chocolate?”

“Do you have ordinary coffee?”

“Yes sir, we have ‘coffee of the day’”

“Good, I’ll take that.” There are now two people behind me in line.

“Pike Roast or Columbian?”

“What’s the difference?”

“I don’t know the taste, I guess…”


“Decaf or Regular?” Finally, a question I can understand.

“Regular,” I think there are four people behind me, but I’m afraid to look.

“Mild or Bold?”

“Which is better?”

“I don’t know. I don’t drink coffee.”

“Bold, I guess.” The line is now up to six, and I can hear some rumbling.

“Short, Tall, Grande or Venti?”

“What?” Did someone whisper, ‘hurry up’?

“What do you mean?”

“What size do you want?”

“What’s Venti?”

“It’s Italian for twenty.”

“Twenty what?”

“Twenty ounces”

“How big is Grande?”

“Sixteen ounces”

“Okay, just give a small”

“Okay, one tall regular Columbian coffee of the day.”

“No, I said a small.”

“We don’t have a small. A Tall is a small.”

“Then what’s the short?”

“It’s a small tall, but it’s not on the menu.”

“Then why did you offer it?”

“Well, we have it, but you normally have to request it because it’s not on the menu.” The line is now 10.

“That makes no sense.”

“Sir, I only work here.” They open another line; at least the pressure is off for a bit.

“Okay, I’ll take the small tall.”

“A short?”

“No, a small tall.”

“That is a short.”

“Give me a Grande.”

“Cream and sugar?”

“Can I add it myself?”

“Yes, but you need to tell us if you want it.”

“Why? Is it extra?”

“No, Sir” 

“Then why do you have to know?”

“If you want cream and sugar, we don’t give you a full cup.”

“So I get less coffee if I want cream and sugar?” The line is backing up again.

“Well, yes, but only to leave room for the cream and sugar.”

“Oh. Cream, please.”

“Low fat, Nonfat, Breve, Soy, Organic or Eggnog?”

“Just black, please.”

“Here or to go?”

“I’d better get it to go; I’m expected home for supper.”


“You need my name to order coffee.” Two people left; I’m glad, they were pretty grumpy folks.

“Yes, to put on the cup.”

“You want to write my name on the cup?”

“Yes, sir, it’s so we can call you when it’s ready.”

“When it’s ready?! It’s just a cup of coffee.” Both lines now have 10-12 people; I quit counting.

“Yes, sir, but there are a lot of orders to fill, and we’ll get yours as soon as we can.”

“Okay, put down, Bob.” I didn’t give my real name because I was afraid of retribution from the crowd.

“Okay, Bob, that will be $1.85.”


“Bob, that will be $1.85.”


“Bob! Sir!”

“Oh, sorry, I forgot my name for a second. $1.85! Does that come with refills?”

“No, Sir.”

“That’s $1.85 for a black, bold, Grande, Columbian coffee of the day. Would you like anything else?” Someone behind me said, “no, thank you.”

“I guess not.”


“No, someone gave me this $50 gift card, so I guess I’ll be back again.” Something must have happened; the crowd was groaning behind me.

“I’ll have to thank them.”

“You’ve been very helpful. Are you working tomorrow?”

“Why are you coming back?”

“I plan to come back every morning until my card is used.”

“No, Bob, I’m on vacation for the next month.”

“Oh! Too bad.” I paid my bill, waited until my name was called, got my coffee, and left. There must have been a party because I heard a big applause as I walked out the door.

Life is full of choices and decisions, and we often become overwhelmed with life and the choices we have to make. We long for times when we could walk in and say, “a cup of coffee, please,” and the waitress sets it down in front of us without asking a question at all. 

Sometimes we want someone to help us get things across. You know the Holy Spirit is that way. When we make our requests to God, the Bible tells us that the Holy Spirit helps us to communicate. “In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words; and He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.”  Romans 8:26-27 (NASB) It’s a simple process; no decisions are required on our part.

Tomorrow, I will be thankful that when I turn on my coffee pot, I’ll get coffee with no questions asked. And when I pray, I’ll be grateful that the Spirit of God is talking on my behalf.

Danny Minton is a former Elder and minister at Southern Hills Church of Christ


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