Jesus Christ and Pumpkin Spice

September

When I clock into my shift at the coffeeshop, I spy a small bottle under the counter: Pumpkin Spice syrup. I swivel 360 degrees, spotting the tucked-away bag of pumpkin spice frappé powder, the pumpkin spice candles, pumpkin spice drizzle…

Call me basic. But I have never felt such pure excitement before in my life.

When the coffeeshop stocks up on pumpkin spice, that means one thing: autumn is just around the corner. For a Floridian, that’s like breaking out of purgatory.

Let me tell you about Florida heat. The air is thick enough to touch.

It’s so hot, a broken air-conditioning unit counts as an emergency maintenance issue.

It’s so hot, if you leave your phone charger in the car, smoke will start to fizzle out of it.

It’s so hot, if you forget to drink water, you will faint in front of Cinderella’s Castle at Disney World (true story).

It’s so hot, you have burn marks on your fingertips from touching your steering wheel and seatbelt buckle.

Please God, when will this summer end?

So it may seem crazy to indulge in a pumpkin spice latté NOW since the flavor is associated with cold, crisp weather. But the taste of it makes me believe that the Florida heat will finally be lifted.

Daniel_Bhowanidin_1
Photo Credit: Daniel Bhowanidin

When it comes to believing in something that has yet to happen, I think of faith. But I used to think that ‘faith’ was belief without any evidence or backing support. Like blind faith. However, Scripture suggests otherwise:

Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Heb. 11:1 KJV.

Evidence.

Substance.

Faith isn’t a feeling. If it was, I would have zero faith in the coming of fall because it still feels SO. DARN. HOT. But because of the pumpkin spice now in the coffeeshop’s cupboard, I have faith that the season will change. The summer will end.

This is the kind of faith Pastor Tim Mackie talks about on his podcast Exploring My Strange Bible. He says in one episode:

“Faith is about experiencing the reality—getting a taste of the thing that we hope for in the future.”

He points to the Christian life. A life of obedience. Of passionately following Jesus’s commands as though He has come again…even though He hasn’t. Even though we still live as imperfect people in an imperfect world.

“Faith—yes, it’s a mindset—but it’s actually an experience that you have when you obey and follow Jesus in a way that makes no sense in light of your present surroundings,” Mackie says. “It only makes sense in light of the future.”

So as the Florida heat persists, I slurp on pumpkin spice and taste what I hope for: autumn.

And as I strive to be a ‘good Christian,’ desiring to please God, I experience a glimpse of what I long for: a perfect relationship with Jesus.

-Rachel

 

Feature Photo by Ekaterina Kuznetsova on Unsplash

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