You start out with a clean coffee pot or coffee maker.
Add fresh water!
Carefully measure out the coffee beans and choose the preferred grind. Of course, the quality and richness of the beans is directly proportional to the flavor of the brew.
Get that water hot by whatever brewing method you select… percolator, drip coffee maker, French press...
Then let the transformation begin! The brewing process forces the water to pass through the grinds delivering the satisfaction of that first fresh cup of coffee.
Finally, add cream and sugar to taste.
How much my life is like my morning cup of coffee.
(I’m often amazed how often God uses simple everyday moments like this to bring me closer to him. These moments help me clarify where and how my faith and life intersect and form a seamless connection.)
So back to coffee making. And what, per chance, God is making of me.
The coffee maker is like my world, or my cultural milieu. Its purity, cleanliness and integrity have an impact on the resulting brew.
The water is, well, my life. Water is the stuff of life… made up of two basic elements, hydrogen and oxygen. In its liquid state, you cannot tell that water has these components. My human life is both body and soul. I cannot separate the two. Whatever impact one, impacts the whole. The water of my life is becoming something new as more is added to it.
The coffee grinds are the circumstances, or – pardon the pun – the "daily grind" of what my encounters and experiences. Recall, the quality of the beans determines the quality of my coffee’s taste.
Heat is applied to coffee making, yielding a slow-drip, transformative process of chemistry. There is no change in me without the heat of challenges and the fire of the Holy Spirit mingling with my life and circumstances.
Finally, the coffee is poured and cream and sugar add flavor. What might these be, by analogy? For the Christian, I suggest that the cream is the smoothness of grace, and sugar is the sweetness of charity. Both enhance the fullness of the taste of life.
This simple coffee analogy invites a few questions for reflection about the quality of our daily lives. (I’m sure you could find others thoughts and ideas that apply to you.)
What is the condition of the world I am living in? How much of its purity and goodness are within my care and influence?
How fresh is the water of my life? Is it stagnant, distilled, or fresh? Are there areas of body and soul that need to be cleansed, refreshed, or revitalized?
Are the circumstances of my life a premium blend? Are the beans rich and robust? What is being added to my life? What is being subtracted?
What is within my control to improve the quality of my life? What do I leave to God’s care?
What can or should be changed to improve life’s flavor?
What are the transformative agents of our life? What’s the heat source? What is the source of change? What makes it all work?
Finally, these ideas: What are we pouring ourselves into?
What do we add to the final brew? Are we open to grace and life-giving love?
The fresh aroma of rich flavorful coffee is always alluring. It draws others to partake of it. A bitter brew turns others away. That pretty much sums up the Christian life too.
What’s perking in your life?
Psalm 34:8: O taste and see that the LORD is good!
©2010 Patricia W. Gohn
About the Author
Pat Gohn is a married empty-nester with three adult children and four grandchildren. An author, catechist, speaker, and host of the Among Women podcast since 2009, her books include the award-winning Blessed, Beautiful, and Bodacious: Celebrating the Gift of Catholic Womanhood, and All In: Why Belonging to the Catholic Church Matters. She works in Catholic publishing as an editor. Visit PatGohn.net