Entry 16: Coffee, Black

Location: New Zealand

            While living in New Zealand I received several care packages (thank you so much to those of you who sent them). One thing about care packages is that I have started to realize what people think I love based on the random items they choose to stuff into the box. Over the year, I marveled over the assorted items I was sent. Rubber ducks, games, and post cards were all sent and I enjoyed all of them, but the most consistent thing I find in that box is coffee. Over the course of the year about half of the care packages I received contained either a mug, coffee paraphernalia or actual coffee. For me this was a marvelous thing.

            I remember when I was younger I always wanted to like coffee. Coffee was something that made you mature, sophisticated. Coffee was what the cool kids did. I also remember when I told my Dad that I wanted to drink coffee that he kindly obliged and gave me a cup. To speak honestly, it was atrocious. I couldn’t understand what was wrong, I had tried coffee before and it was sweet, delicious and creamy. I looked down into the black abyss that was my hot drink and questioned why it wasn’t, I don’t know, whiter? Where was all the sugar? My Dad told me that if I was going to drink coffee that was fine, but I was going to drink it as coffee, not sugar milk. If I was going to drink I had to commit. Needless to say, I stopped drinking coffee, for a time. It was not a taste I had yet acquired. 

            There is a big debate today if coffee is bad for us. The truth is that when we drink coffee the thing that is really bad for us is the extra stuff we put in it to try to make it sweet. What makes coffee bad is our attempt to add something that makes it go down easier. 

            Just like coffee, the only thing bad about Christianity is when we try to add things that make it go down easier. Just like coffee, Christianity doesn’t taste good lukewarm. Just like coffee, it comes in many forms; sometimes you need a shot, other times, a gallon would better do the trick.

            Christianity is an acquired taste. It doesn’t go down easy because it is so different from everything else. It takes time to appreciate all that Christianity has to offer. At first committing doesn’t necessarily taste good or, at the very least, it’s a shock to the system. It’s a shock because we are used to something that seems sweeter but is actually harming us. The sugar, sin if you will, might add something to the cup, but it only makes the coffee bad for our health. 

             Psalms says, “Taste and see that the Lord is good.” All by himself, no syrup, no sugar, no milk.  It may take a few cups, but soon you realize that by Himself, the Lord is as sweet as they come. Oh, and one more thing, just like coffee, it’s the best way to start your day. 


*Side Note – This is not a condemnation for those who enjoy their coffee with cream and sugar. It’s just a metaphor so settle down.