Wednesdays with Jillene: Drive-thru mentality

One snowy night in December I sat in Tim Hortons catching up with a close friend. We’d ordered holiday hot chocolate, settled in at a table, and talked for hours. After a bunch of heart-to-heart sharing I realized I had been staring at the same view out the window and something caught my attention. I was watching the drive-thru as car after car passed by. And, of all things, a trash can caught my attention.

trash can

More often than not, a car would drive up, order, drive forward, throw out a cup, and drive forward to the pick-up window.

I really was captivated by the placement of the trash can. It was just a garbage receptacle, what could be so intriguing? I don’t frequent Tim Hortons, in fact when I do go I am the silly customer taking WAY too long to figure out what to order. So I definitely don’t go through the drive-thru. As I watched people, I was struck by them having old Tim Horton’s cups to throw out before they picked up their new order. Over and over and over again.

I wrote before about being filled up and I think we often have a “drive-thru mentality” to life. We have a need so we make a quick stop in order to find something to meet that need, throw out the remnants from the last time, and pick up the new.

filled cup holders

And if a “drive-thru mentality” permeates our spiritual lives we choose to be filled up with other things and never empty our cup-holders to allow God to fill us.

But imagine those cup-holders filled with your burdens. Trash cans can alleviate the weight but like in the drive-thru, just in time to refill with yet another burden. We often set ourselves to repeat the cycle.

Jesus said, ““Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.” If we truly want to come to Christ we have to get out of the drive-thru lane. Jesus isn’t the trash can waiting to take our burdens just before we get to the pick-up window to take new ones. Yet, in a “drive-thru mentality” kind of way we wonder why, even after giving our burdens to Christ, we are filled with them again.

We need to get out of the drive-thru. We need to stop setting ourselves up to repeat the cycle.


Come to Christ, whatever your burdens: anger, loneliness, fear, doubt, stubbornness, shame, weakness, illness, guilt, desires, busyness, insecurities, pain, loss, apathy, weakness, uncertainty, and sin. Come to Him with your burdens but know he is more than just the drive-thru trash can. Cycles repeat, that’s their nature but Christ came to set us free. Christ provides a way. Christ came to fill us.

Come to Him. We need to lay down our burdens and as we confess our sins he is faithful and just to forgive us and cleanse us of unrighteousness. As our good shepherd, he leads and guides us. He is the way, the truth and the life.

God, you alone know the true nature and weight of the burdens we carry. We have heard your call for us to come, weary and heavy laden, to you and find rest. Yet we find ourselves in a “drive-thru” mentality where we give you our burdens and turn to pick up new ones. Our world is filled with opportunities, offers, and chances to fill ourselves up, which leave us feeling that it isn’t possible to truly release our burdens to you. Give us the wisdom to see you as who you really are, so much more than just a trash can waiting to accept the latest burden we carry. Strengthen us to leave the cycles of life that continually weigh us down and seek your forgiveness. Help us trust your “yoke” and lean into your guidance as you restore us. Amen.



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