Just a month or so ago at the Zoe Worship Conference in Nashville I went to have dessert with some friends from Dallas. We could not find a whole lot of places that were open so we settled on a Starbucks. A friend almost insisted that I try a Shantico. They know me well. I ordered one, they graciously paid and I began to sip on the "micro" size cup. Talk about a party in your mouth...your throat...your happy glands...your soul. Yikes! This is the stuff that dreams are made of. A dark, good quality european chocolate is melted to make this little hot chocolate drink. I honestly do not think much more is added. It is as thick as lotion and as you drink it it hides in all the nooks and crannies of your mouth and just when you think you have swallowed the last sip, a little surprise will pop into your mouth because the taste lingers.
At this point some of you are thinking that I need therapy at the least - don't fear haven't you seen the movie Chocolat. You either get this or you don't!
I have had another few Shantico experiences since then. Just a few! Last night was one of them. However, I took the tiny lid off the tiny cup to look at the "delight in a cup." All of a sudden I was struck by something. This is perhaps the most luxurious and decadent thing I consume. But this is the life that Jesus offers. Stay with me here. His love for us is so intense it is Shantico-like. He lavishes love and gifts on us. He snatched us from destruction and covered us with the most expensive gift - the blood of his son. As I looked at the shades of brown mixed with a little froth and how it all blended the color palate in the cup was intense and deep. Interesting. No really, this is the life he affords. One that is rich and deep in meaning, one that is intense in experience and one that is like no other. Kingdom living is in not luxurious and decadent in a selfish, unconsequential way - but it can be so completely satisfying that it is overwhelming. Don't misunderstand me, troubles are not washed away. Hardships are often induced. Easy street is not usually our address when we follow Jesus. However, the aftertaste left in our mouth after experiences with Jesus will continue to bring joy and delight and surprise.
So when 2 friends and I left church last night to go to Starbucks instead of class and we insisted we were being "missional" no one believed us. If only they knew.... Long live "Chocolat!"