We all have those places that are more than just a location. They embody happiness, excitement, or home. They have so many good associations that the mere sight makes something inside get soft and gooey like a roasted marshmallow.
I have a few, but my two greatest are 1) Borders bookshops, and 2) Starbucks.
In principle I'm a huge fan of the independent business and boutique. The cutest parts of any city are those areas that are unbound by chain stores. However, when it comes to 1 and 2, I adore the uniformity. They are an island of familiarity anywhere you go.
It's a thrill to approach the glass paneled door of a Starbucks, push on the handle, and be greeted by the warm hiss of steaming milk, the entreating stare of the pastry case, the overwrought music piped through the stereo, the artfully displayed merchandise, and the heavy sent of roasted coffee. I get happy faster than you can say "grande non-fat light-roast misto with 3/4 coffee." And it only gets better when that crisp white cup is fitted to my palm. Two Splendas and...sigh.
Before I begin to drool, the point is, we all have those spots. Our "happy places," if you will. I'm not sure where that would be for those who are not chemically dependent on caffeine. But we have them. It's the memories built over time that form an arch of warmth and security around that place. For a girl who spends a lot of time on the road, having the familiar nearby has grown very valuable.
Which makes me recognize how precious it is to have a God who never changes. Amongst the foreign, He is the same. Amid the whip-lash inducing changes in our world, He is constant. Starbucks might be a comfort available in a lot of places, but God is everywhere and He is my home.
Thank you, God, for caffeine, for Starbucks, and for that warm sense of familiarity that makes new places feel less intimidating. In a world that changes faster than I can keep up with, thank you for the consistencies. Tiny anchor points. And thank you for being unchanging. Thank you for being faithful no matter where life goes, for cruising the highway of this crazy life with me always. I love knowing you are with me! Even in the drive-thru lane.