When Even A Little Is Too Much

For almost forty days I did not taste the liquid joy that is coffee. Before “fasting” from coffee as part of my Lenten journey, I was drinking 8 to 12 cups a day. That’s the equivalent of the Pacific Ocean or it might as well have been, because when you deny yourself something, it grows in your consciousness.

And that’s the point. Giving something up during Lent, fasting in general, is meant to heighten our awareness of what gets our attention and our energy. By foregoing coffee, every time I smelled coffee (my wife was very considerate and hardly made any during the whole season), I was reminded how much I enjoy holding a cup of warm Joe, how much I like the bitter first sip, how much I rely on coffee.

I was also given the opportunity to think about God. Each longing was a chance to remember God supplies my needs. Each time I denied myself, I was reminded how God offers what I truly desire abundantly.

I thought I’d really struggle with the whole thing, but I didn’t suffer headaches or tremors. I wanted to drink coffee (especially when I was with others) but not so much that I would abandon the fast.

While I could have broken the fast on Sundays (celebrated as mini Easters), I choose not to do so. And because I did not, my anticipation of Easter was heightened.

You should have seen me Saturday night preparing for bed. The last thing I did was to get the coffee pot all setup, so all I’d have to Easter morning (sunrise service!) was flip the little button and wait a few minutes until the coffee started flowing. I went to bed with a Hallelujah on my lips.

And then a funny thing happened. When I took that first sip on Easter, I thought, “It’s good, but I could definitely live without it.”

Point made, God. Thanks for continually showing me you are all I need. I’ll continue to enjoy coffee, and I’ll continue to remember God as I do so.

Let me know if I can buy you a cup sometime.

Life is better together, Shawn

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