Why do you drink coffee at home? It's a simple question, but perhaps a greater one than you may at first think.
Perhaps it helps you wake up and function at your best or maybe it’s the aroma of freshly ground coffee that you love. Maybe you would say that you just love the taste or craft of coffee, so the art of grinding and brewing is a perfect beginning. Or, perhaps for you, coffee in the morning carries many years and memories of your father or mother routinely enjoying their first cup with seldom missing a morning, so therefore you too enjoy it with seldom a miss.
If we’re being honest with ourselves, perhaps the fact that it simply wakes us up doesn’t go deep enough to the truth, as the above examples may reveal. The truth is there is a reason behind the need or desire to wake up more efficiently (because you would wake up without it). That reason, the one that lies behind the desire to wake up better, is closer to the real reason why coffee is a part of our mornings at home.
The enjoyment of a cup of coffee at home helps bring me to the appropriate inward pace necessary to invest in the first most important moments of my day. Therein lies the reason for my tradition, and one which I hope to pass on one day.
Let’s look at it this way. I think there’s more to the colloquial saying and common meme, “But first, coffee,” than we can see on the surface. We’d all agree that a morning routine is worth more than a cup of coffee. The reason that we need to function is of far greater value than the thing we use to bring about the ability to function. If what is most important is the reason behind our need to wake up – to prepare for a successful day, to have a meaningful conversation with God, your wife, husband, or kids, or simply to spend a few waking moments reflecting – then perhaps a simple alteration of our language will help our hearts and minds get there even quicker.
There is immense power in speech – albeit words or thoughts. To know this we don’t have to think too long to conjure up a memory of how someone’s words built us up or tore us down. Equally, if not more important, is the power of our own words on ourselves. A good example of this truth can be found in the reason why Jesus tells his followers to pray for their enemies. By praying for our enemies, we are telling our souls to behave and act a certain way. If you are intentionally pleasant or charitable to someone, it is hard to feel unpleasant feelings towards them in the moment. Our words, thoughts, and actions have the power to affect and alter our hearts and minds and therefore our behavior.
Everything that we say, think, and do in this moment is practice for the next moment. So, let us use our moments, not only around coffee, but also even talking about coffee to serve as moments of practice to help us better love God and love our neighbors around us.
So, why do you drink coffee at home in the mornings? Yes, perhaps you “need” it to get going. But, perhaps even moreso, it adds to your enjoyment in the morning and helps you prepare for what is really most important to you. It’s a subtle change of thought, but one that could have far reaching implications over time. And, it’s right there, anywhere that helps me better my relationship with God and others, that I want to focus.