For God loved the world in this way: He gave His one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16
I like it straight black—plus nothing, minus nothing. Coffee has long been a part of my life. It all started when I was growing up. The name Taylor and the word coffee have gone together for a long, long time. I can remember every day my Daddy would get home from work about 4:00 in the afternoon. He carpooled with three other men and just like clock work they would pull up and he would get out. It was a certainty. The other certainty was the coffee. Mama would have a fresh pot percolating on the stove and perfectly timed to be ready when he got home. She would meet him in the yard, and they would share the day and have a cup of coffee.
He didn’t just drink coffee then either. It was not unusual for him to say, “Dewayne, go get me a cup of coffee.” The please was implied and it seemed there was always a pot on the stove. One time there wasn’t so I improvised. I didn’t understand the in and outs of coffee making, so I just spooned in some coffee grounds in the cup and added some lukewarm water. That day I learned how not to make coffee! As I remember it, Daddy liked his coffee with sugar and cream and always drank it from one of those thick Victor coffee cups made after World War II. It didn’t hold much but it was a good cup to drink from.
I can’t even remember not drinking coffee though I can remember Mama telling me about coffee stunting my growth. Since I ended up on the shorter side, she must have been telling the truth. And, like my Daddy, I drank mine with sugar and cream—lots of sugar and lots of cream. Eventually I switched to a powered creamer called Cremora along with a hefty dose of artificial sweetener. Somewhere along the road they said that Cremora was bad for you, so after much consternation I went to having my coffee with just the sweetener—three packs please. It was so sweet it would make you pucker.
Well, you know how it goes. They (whoever they are) then determined that the sweetener was bad for you, too. I talked it over with the guys at work and one of them said, “If you will drink coffee black for three weeks, you’ll never drink it any other way.” Well, I did and he was right. Ever since then, I drink my coffee strong and straight black. And the amazing part is for the first time I began to taste the coffee and not the stuff I added to it. It was just about then I began to understand the Folger’s commercial that said, “The best part of waking up is Folger’s in your cup.” I take one exception to that though—it is always best to wake up—breathing.
I think if I learned anything from my coffee journey it was that sometimes more is just more. It seems most of us are tempted to add something to whatever we are doing at the time. Have a great recipe—we are tempted to add this or that. Have a truck pretty tricked out? Well, hey, why not add one more thing? I know my office is stuffed to the gills with stuff from all over the world but sometimes, well, more is just more. Instead of seeing things, you start seeing a wall full of stuff. I have a box on the floor in my church office. It is full of things that I’ve decided can go home…the problem is it has been there for, uh, several weeks.
Now one thing we must be careful not to mess with is God’s grace. It is fine just the way it is. When you start messing with grace you end up with something that is not very “gracy and when something is not very “gracy” it loses it “graciness” and that is never a good thing. I love the fact that God got it right from the start. There has never been a grace 2.0 because version 1 was just exactly right.
When it comes to God stuff, it seems we want to make it harder and more complex than it really is. That’s why I like John 3:16 that says, “For God loved the world in this way: He gave His one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life.” Boom…perfection.
Well, I think I’ll have a cup of straight black coffee a little later on and I think I’ll rewrite that Folger’s jingle to say, “The best part of waking up is Jesus in your cup.” It doesn’t get any better than that. Just knowing Him makes it worthwhile…because always, “He’s got this.” Bro. Dewayne