Coffee is important to me. I wouldn’t say it is the most important thing in my life, there are many things that out-rank it, but I would be lying if I said, “coffee wasn’t near the top.”
I also know that I am not alone in this feeling. Many TV shows and movies feature main characters who take coffee very seriously and refuse to work without it. These characters reflect a reality in our own lives to which we can relate. Our society’s love of coffee, I’m afraid to say, probably has less to do with enjoying and appreciating the beverage itself, but rather the draw is to the feeling of renewed energy brought on by caffeine. And why do we feel the need to rely so heavily on the limited effects of caffeine? Simple, life is really busy. We are all so busy running errands, running businesses, running kids to and from places, running households, running, it feels at times, in circles. We live in an age when we have unlimited opportunities to connect, learn, to be entertained, to be distracted. How many of us have said to ourselves, “There are not enough hours in the day!”
With this ever-moving lifestyle, where can on find the time to stop and prayer, or listen to a sermon, or delve into God’s Word? We rationalize by saying that God understands. God thinks family is important and would want me to focus on them. God believes in our vocations and so has called me to work hard on my career or my school work. Who in this day and age has any time for Sabbath rest? The Gospel of Mark tells us,
“The sabbath was made for humankind, and not humankind for the Sabbath.” Mark 2:27
God created the heavens and the earth and all that is in them. Then God created humankind and only after that did God establish the Sabbath. The Sabbath was established with us in mind and we need the Sabbath.
“The meaning of the Sabbath is to celebrate time rather than space. Six days a week we live under the tyranny of things in space; on the Sabbath we try to become attuned to holiness in time. It is a day on which we are called upon to share in what is eternal in time, to turn from the results of creation to the mystery of creation; from the world of creation to the creation of the world.” The Sabbath by Abraham Joshua Heschel
Now, let me be clear, I still love coffee and I will continue to begin my mornings with a cup (or three). But it is my hope that my day, and yours can begin as consistently with God. What if we recognized our need to be in God’s presence as acutely as we needed our daily fix of coffee?