It was almost 7 AM -- opening time for a tiny concession stand dubbed the Eureka Café. I was there first, leaning on the counter and staring happily at the trademark: "We Proudly Brew Starbucks Coffee." I had expected this summer retreat center to be nestled miles away from a good cup o' Joe. But according to the words on this sign, and the rustic fragrance that filled the air, I had found it. So I went on to order my coffee -- a scene that repeated several times in the course of five days -- and it didn't take long to figure out that "proudly brewing" a brand of coffee and being an official institution of that brand are two different things.
Now don't get me wrong, the coffee was great. But the Eureka Café was a far stretch from a bona fide Starbucks. Sure, the baristas were nice and the drinks were good, but there were several things you couldn't get. The half-and-half didn't need refrigeration. There was nowhere to sit. There was no music, no coffitivity. Of all the similarities, it still wasn't the real thing. You know what I mean.
It's sort of like how we think about the Holy Spirit, when we think about him wrongly. We tend to make him the Eureka Café of God. Sure, there are important similarities, but he's not the real thing. We know he is related to God, but we can easily hold back from thinking of the Spirit as God himself, which he truly is. And I’m afraid that until we really understand this, we sell ourselves short of living gladly in his benefits. I have two specifically in mind.
[Read the rest of the article at Desiring God.]