Author Ava Pennington
Author Ava Pennington

It’s a scene repeated thousands of times in cities and towns across our nation and around the world. The aroma of roasted coffee beans wafts through a store as customers race to the counter, place and receive their orders, and rush off to work.

Coffee shops such as Starbucks, Peet’s, and Seattle’s Best have achieved success by filling individual orders for great-tasting coffee quickly and accurately. Serve ’em fast and move ’em out for maximum profits.

Until now. Until “slow coffee.”

A new coffee shop franchise in California – Philz Coffee – is slowing the coffee experience. Long lines don’t dissuade customers. Neither do the high prices. People wait patiently for their customized, slow-prepared drinks made from blended beans, aerated and slow-poured one cup at a time. Each drink takes up to five minutes to make.

It’s the embodiment of “hurry up and wait.” Customers rush in, wait, and dash out again in a caffeine-fueled rush.

Sort of reminds me of publishing. We write and write and write. Then we edit and re-edit. We submit to an agent who submits our work to publishers. The process can take months…or longer. And so we wait.

Finally, a publisher likes our work and agrees to publish it. However, anywhere from a year to eighteen months can pass from the signing of the contract until the actual release date. More waiting.

But before publication, the publisher’s editors will contact us. Time for a new round of edits. Only these must be done quickly – often within a week or less. Hurry, hurry, hurry.

More waiting follows as the book goes to print and more time passes before we hold that precious first copy – our baby! – in our hands.

The process doesn’t end there. We hurry to market our book to readers: we blog, post, and tweet. We travel and speak. And then we begin the process all over again.

But hurry up and wait applies to other things, as well. Do we hurry to obey God’s words or lag behind because we don’t want to be inconvenienced? Do we wait for His leading, or rush ahead to fulfill our own agendas?

Hurry up and wait. For coffee. For publishing. For life.

In what area are you hurrying today? In what area are you waiting?

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