I think I’ve finally made it!

I think I’ve finally made it! After two years of feeling like I’ve been living in a “foreign land” I now feel like I’m an official Seattle-ite! My test you ask? I have officially become a coffee elitist!
Let me explain. My historical “coffee” birthplace might be considered a “caffeine purgatory”. It’s not that the Midwest doesn’t appreciate a good cup of joe…it does. It’s more that my family didn’t. In fact we were known to drink Folgers Instant Coffee! And not as our coffee in a pinch, but as our coffee of choice!
(Full disclosure here…I still could sit down right now and drink to the memories of Sanka Instant! It got me through college and seminary!) So knowing this about me, you will be “proud” to know that every Tuesday morning as I head off for my prayer breakfast at Panera Bread in downtown Woodinville, I secretly moan. Why? Because Panera’s coffee is horrible! I’ve tried bringing my own creamer, icing it down, going to Starbucks and pouring it in a cup from home as a cover up, dousing it with one of Panera’s awesome pastries, you name it. But in the end I’ve actually slept in on Tuesdays, not because I was tired, not because I am tired of my prayer partners, but because I can’t stand Panera’s coffee!
Just as a side note: last night I found out that it’s not entirely Panera’s fault. Just after purchasing the building space and breaking ground, Panera was ready to put in an espresso maker but was stopped by city officials! It seems another powerful establishment had just purchased space in the building and they had an “espresso clause” in their contract that prevented another business from operating an espresso machine within 500 feet of their business! Can you believe it? The reason Panera has bad coffee is simply due to a strategic move by none other than Seattle’s own: Starbucks!
What has this to do with Bear Creek UMC you rightly ask? Well, in a couple of weeks we are upping our coffee game! We are getting an expresso machine. A good one!
There is something in our creative makeup that is deeply attracted to excellence. Last weekend many of us tuned into a golf tournament to see if Tiger Woods might climb out of his moral brokenness and win? Why? Because there’s something beautiful about hitting a golf ball so precisely!
Annie Dillard once wrote this line that has always challenged me:
“There is always the temptation in life to diddle around making itsy-bitsy friends and meals and journeys for years on end. It is all so self conscience, so apparently moral…But I won’t have it. The world is wilder than that in all directions, more dangerous…more extravagant and bright. We are…raising tomatoes when we should be raising Cain, or Lazarus.”
I read this quote often before or after a sermon and hang my head when I’ve settled for Folger’s Instant. Why? Because you, I, and the one who knitted together my marvelous collection of bone and sinew, all deserve a “more excellent” effort!
Your friend and pastor, ready to make espresso, Brook

Tim Schaaf