All I Need: A Little Bit of Coffee & A Whole Lot of Jesus

All I Need: A Little Bit of Coffee & A Whole Lot of Jesus

A friend of mine gave me this coffee cup at Christmas, that says, “All I need: A little bit of coffee & a whole lot of Jesus.” I love it. It’s a paper cup, so I have had it on my kitchen counter the last couple of months and was saving it for a “special occasion.” Meaning, a day where I needed something “special” in an otherwise boring or tired day. Today seemed a good day for that. I found myself needing to skip a group playdate and run errands instead. Boo. Good use for a to-go cup, and good time to make the day “special.”

As I read the quote today I thought about the fast coming up. There are a lot of different ways to do a fast, and at times I have done a partial fast that did not include giving up caffeine. But I think this time God is calling me to give up caffeine. Why? Because it is a crutch. If you are doing a liquid-only fast, you probably should give up caffeine for health reasons besides the spiritual reasons, but on a partial fast, it’s kind of optional. But for me, I NEED caffeine every day. I need it to help me stay awake on my never-quite-eight-hours-of-sleep schedule. I need it because it goes well with my newspaper. I need it because if I don’t drink it I’ll get a headache. But I need Jesus more.

A healthy thing to do every now and then, is to consider your crutches. A crutch is what you turn to instead of turning to the Lord. This is very personal. To discover a crutch, what you must ask yourself is, “What do I turn to so that I can feel better?” and then ask yourself, “Why do I do this?” and “Is this healthy?” Many things are not “bad” by themselves, but we can use them in ways that are unhealthy. Is caffeine a sin? I don’t think so. Some say it actually has health benefits. Can it be unhealthy? Yes. I’m not a pot-a-day kind of person. I’m a cup or two of half-decaf kind of gal. But if I have it too late in the day it will keep me awake at night, and the fact is, I feel my day is not complete without it. As my cup says, “I need a little bit of coffee.”

Unfortunately, while I tend to remember that part and have it well-established in my daily routine, I sometimes forget the second part. The “whole lot of Jesus” part. Don’t get me wrong, Jesus is all over my day. I mostly listen to Christian music, I pray little snippets through the day, I talk to Jesus and listen to Him. I think about Him all the time. And this seems like “enough” most of the time. Until I realize I feel disconnected and frustrated and get angry quickly and trouble hearing his voice. And then I realize it’s been awhile since I spent QUALITY time with Jesus.

I’m with my kids and spouse practically all day every day. But we all know that quantity time is different than quality time. If I don’t get QUALITY time in, my relationships with my family suffer. Just being in the same room isn’t enough. This is why kids rebel and spouses grow apart… living together isn’t enough for a healthy relationship. Sometimes I think I keep Jesus in the room with me, but I don’t have in-depth conversations with Him. I don’t ask Him what He wants to do today, with me. I don’t ask what His prayer requests are. (In other words, what needs does God see around me of which I am unaware?) I don’t read His letters to me (aka, the Bible).

As I said yesterday, fasting isn’t just about what we turn from. That’s why we aren’t calling it a “Month of Fasting.” We are inviting people into a Month of Dedication. How can I re-dedicate my life to God? How can I get Him back as a focal point in my life – make time for Him everyday in my routine, like I do for that cup of coffee. I’ll still keep Him in the room all day long, but I want to sit down and talk with Him, and sing with Him, and read His words more often.

All of us have different habits, or coping mechanisms, to help us get through life when it is tough. If you want to get rid of a crutch, take time to notice yourself and find out what you do, of which you may be unaware. Some possibilities could be food (overeating, sweets, or unhealthy snack foods), alcohol, internet, smartphone, television. It could be a personal addiction (of which you are probably well aware); it could be excessive work, cleaning, a hobby, or exercise – “good” things, but things that can keep you from investing in healthy relationships or time with God, if you do them excessively, or to avoid something else God is calling you to. A friend of mine even admitted his crutch is helping people! That’s good, right? But not if he isn’t taking time to be healthy personally, or if the way he “helps” is taking away from his personal responsibilities, relationship with God, keeping him unbalanced in life, or is enabling other people to remain unhealthy…

So… If I redesign that coffee cup, what should it say?