I drink coffee every day, and I drink it all day. I love coffee. I’m not talking about Folgers or Maxwell House, I’m not even talking about Starbucks. I’m talking about good micro-roasted coffee. Always strong, always black. Coffee is not just something that I drink for the caffeine. I love the taste. It provides a unique experience. I like that coffee is often a medium for relationships. We gather at coffee shops, and we go out for coffee with people. Friendships are formed and people fall in love. Books are written and intellectual depths are probed.
Today, however, I did something different. I drank coffee without doing anything else. No television, no radio, no reading, no writing, no work. I tried not even to think. I simply tried to experience the moment. I lifted the cup to my face and I could smell the heavy aroma of my dark-roasted Guatemalan coffee. The temperature was hot, but not boiling. The taste was bright and it felt as though a flower was blooming in my mouth.
I then began to think of the farmers that grew and harvested this coffee. I buy fair-trade coffee, always hoping that those who labor can receive adequate fruits of that labor. I wondered how well they were compensated for it. I wondered if the farmer had a family, and where in Guatemala they live. I wonder if the farmer realizes how much joy their work brings to me and others like me. I wonder if it matters. I wonder if the farmer is blessing or cursing those who buy their crop: if I am seen as a customer or an oppressor.
I think about those who roasted the coffee, the hands that took the raw beans and transformed it into the beautifully dark bean which is able to be ground and brewed.
I found myself quietly thanking those who labored over this so that I can have this simple yet wonderful experience.
Although the “live in the moment” mantra is everywhere, it is difficult. Always planning for the future, always worrying that church won’t have enough to pay me, always worrying that our lives will be up-set…again.
And then I try to remember the simple pleasures of this earthy drink, and I give thanks for simple things. Even in the midst of uncertainty we can still experience something of pleasure. It need not be something grand, it need not be something extravagant. Sometimes these simple things can be truly understood and celebrated as gifts from God.
Praise God from whom all blessings flow;
Praise God all creatures here below;
Praise God above ye heavenly host;
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.