My Dad LOVES coffee.
Growing up, I always saw him having a cup with his brothers or other guests. Just enough sugar, just enough milk, and just enough space left by the coffee for it to spill out of the mug when he stirred it. Coffee with breakfast, coffee with lunch, and coffee with supper. Even coffee at night when he couldn’t sleep. Hmm… I woke up again… better have some more coffee.
For Dad, coffee was a source of energy, a joyful treat, and a ceremony of friendship and affection.
For most of my life, I have preferred my caffeine to come green, sugared, and labeled “Mountain Dew,” but coffee has lately gotten my attention back. Partly it’s because I don’t need pop’s calories, and coffee is pretty free if left black and unsweetened. Partly it’s because our temporary home came with a programmable coffee pot. Partly it’s because I discovered the fancy stuff, sold in whatever little quantity you want to try. Hazelnut, French Vanilla, Sumatran… if I’m going to drink it black most of the time, I’d like a little variety. Soothingly warm in the morning, refreshingly chilled sometime later. Yes, it still tastes good that way.
Coffee, I am finding, is a great aid to the morning and to morning prayers. Both can be a source of energy and joy (although they can also be “decaffeinated,” lacking both). Both can benefit people alone or in groups. Both remind me of and connect me to my Father.
Coffee even models a pattern for prayer. It reminds me to start by Calling out to God, focusing on Him alone. I Open myself to His presence and His word, revealing myself and my sins to Him. I ask His Forgiveness for those sins and renewal from them, and His guidance as I commit to Follow Him, giving Him Everything and remembering it all came from Him anyway. Lastly, I ask Him to help me focus on His will and others’ needs by committing to Evangelism (sharing Christ with others).
Obviously, I don’t have that all down perfectly, but part three addresses that again in the next day’s prayers.
COFFEE = Call out to God, Open myself, ask Forgiveness, Follow Him, offer Everything of myself, and Evangelize others.
At the end of it, I need to listen patiently for what He might say to me. To be honest, the coffee doesn’t help so much with that part of morning prayers.
Coffee also reminds us of another thing about our relationship with God: “Christ Offers Forgiveness For Everyone Everywhere.”
Thanks for never giving up on getting me to have coffee, Dad!
Although “coffee” and Dad have been on my mind, I don’t want to leave out Mom, her preference for tea, or her influence on my faith. Alongside Dad, she taught and helped me to say my bedtime prayers for many years, and when my faith wasn’t particularly strong, she spoke convincingly about how her medical training had shown her that the body’s complexly interdependent organs and systems gave strong evidence for a Creator.
So Mom, thank you for the TEA: Trust Even in Adversity.