For my family, coffee drinking is a social thing. When we get together, you might as well know that the coffee pot will be working double time. And it’s been that way from my early childhood. Saturday morning cartoons with a glass of coffee, milk, and sugar are etched in my memory. And I’ve been told, we were given coffee in our bottles…there are some benefits to this…but that’s another story.
I purchased a coffee bean tree. Or bush. Whatever it was, it was to produce coffee beans. I nurtured it. But in the long run, like all other plants I’ve “adopted,” it died. With nary a coffee bean to be produced.
In the past year, I was told by my doctor to back off on the caffeine. Half caf. Oh, say it isn’t so! But alas, it had to be. I searched for the best decaffeinated coffee I could find. I mix it with my regular coffee to create the perfect brew. It isn’t as bad as I thought it would be, but still, it’s just not the same.
I believe that in the past, coffee was more important to me than almost any other thing in my life.
Guess what? God doesn’t want that to be the most important thing in my life. Years ago I led an Elizabeth George Bible study on the Fruit of the Spirit. She made one comment that made an impact on my life. “I reached a point when coffee was controlling my life! Coffee—not God—was my first waking thought. Coffee—not prayer—was my first waking need. Serving myself coffee—not serving my family—was my first concern each day.”[i]
That single statement made led me to think about what I place between myself and God. Coffee for certain, but I knew there were others. But more importantly, I knew I needed to get my priorities straight.
First priority? My personal time with God. God’s desire is for me to be with Him in a relationship. The only way I can know Him fully is to spend time with Him. Psalm 99:5 says, “Exalt the Lord our God and worship at his footstool; he is holy.” Oh what joy to be able to sit at His feet. At His footstool to worship Him. Now that is intimate and as He wants my relationship to be with Him.
Second priority? My prayer time with God. God also desires that I go to Him with all my worries, my praises, my needs, and my petitions. “Pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for the saints.” (Ephesians 6:18) This is just one verse of many reminding me to spend more time with God in prayer.
Third priority? My Bible study time. Anytime I can read and study God’s Word is a good time. It has led me to truth (John 8:31-32). It has guided me (Psalm 119:105). I have been kept from sin (Psalm 119:11). And I have seen the goodness within its pages (1 Peter 2:1-3).
These three priorities keep all the others in line. They help keep me focused on the right things and how that focus can be used for God. Coffee is still a large part of my life. I’ve often said that I hoped I never had to give up coffee for some reason. But in reality, I’m half way there!
Grace and peace be yours in abundance,