DISCLAIMER: No, this is not a Valentine’s Day piece. No, it’s not about a time I turned down coffee with a guy. Nor am I thinking about how I was alone on the blessed occasion last Wednesday. Ha! I would also like to preface that I LOVE coffee, like, LOVE coffee. In fact, I’m sitting in a café writing this and drinking one – so apologies to any of my coffee-loving and drinking friends who may have had a mild heart attack at the sight of this post’s title (you know who you are). So why am I talking about turning down coffee if I love it? Well, I was out running a work errand at the shops last week and I’d just had an argument with my sister which had triggered a whole lot of emotions in me. My feelings were at an all-time low. After I completed the work errand, I had decided I’d go and get a coffee. I thought that getting a coffee would make me feel better (you know, ‘treat yo’self’). It was before 9am (which is early for a uni student on holidays – apologies to any adulting and parenting friends out there who saw the first light of day). I was tired and about to head out on a 3-hour road-trip with my family and I thought a bit of caffeine would go a long way. Oddly enough I found myself questioning my desire for a coffee. #Deep
“Is a coffee what I need right now?”
I literally stopped in the middle of the shopping centre and started internally processing this decision. I even made a ‘pro-con’ list in my head regarding this “should I get a coffee” decision. On some days I’m inclined to insert an IV of caffeine into my body so, to find myself questioning my need for a coffee, was very much like an out-of-body experience. What a lol. In no way am I saying that coffee is bad – I think coffee can do wonders and I normally choose to partake in those wonders. Fun Fact: Cognitive neuroscientist, Dr Caroline Leaf, reports that “Coffee is really good for you! It helps speed up your metabolism and studies are showing that coffee can improve cognitive function, memory and mood!” However, I realised that, in this moment, what I really needed was a moment with Jesus. One thing I’ve realised is that we can never get enough of Jesus. He is so generous and so kind and yet, just when I think I’ve had ‘enough’, I discover that He always has more of Himself to give us. But on days like this one, I recognised how much I reeeeaaaally need Him. Christine Caine once said, “Some things need only be spoken to Jesus.” These words frequently prompt me to consider who or what is my first point of call when my soul is in a state of unrest and lacking peace. While we all need our soul food (a feel-good movie, a block of chocolate, a COFFEE, a face mask – and, to be honest, sometimes I need to remind myself to actually indulge in those things, #loveyourself), often it’s just a quick fix. I’d like to live my days with longevity in mind. What’s going to help me continue life well and finish well? Soul food, a ‘quick fix’ can be brilliant and momentarily satisfying but ultimately it cannot sustain me. It’s one thing to physically rest or give our minds a mental break but abiding and resting in the presence of God is an entirely different thing. The more I abide, the better equipped and fueled I am for the journey and for whatever mountains and valleys that lie in my path. The more I abide, the more I recognise when I actually need to abide. Perhaps, too, God’s voice is more prominent in my headspace than I think it is. I’m learning that it’s worth paying more attention to my inner thoughts because sometimes it’s God’s Spirit within me wanting to be heard. Indeed, 1 Corinthians 2:16 states, “But we have the mind of Christ [to be guided by His thoughts and purposes]”. One of my favourite ways to process my emotions, or to help myself understand something that’s happened, is to chat about it with someone that is loving and trustworthy. Wisdom would also probably suggest that’s a good thing to do, ha! However, nothing can compare to a conversation with Jesus – especially, if it’s been a while since you’ve had one. Jesus is the best remedy for a wounded heart. He’s the best listener and advice-giver. He extends grace beyond measure and He doesn’t take offence. To be sure, He actually longs to be this (and more) to us. I recently heard our beautiful Strong Nation Church Senior Pastor, Naomi Burrell, say, “Let’s invite Jesus into the pages of our diary.” I’ve replayed these words over and over again in my mind since hearing them. What a beautiful and yet simple thought – that God can be (and wants to be) a part of our ‘everyday.’ I wonder how different my life would be if I became more intentional and consistent at inviting Him into my world.  So, I won’t lie, I’m probably going to binge-watch Friends after I’ve had a bad day and down my favourite coffee. You, too, may find yourself indulging in whatever soul food you love (do it!), but let us remember Jesus. He’s just waiting for our ‘yes’. Maybe He likes to drink coffee, too.