I’m a coffee drinker. My kids are coffee drinkers; well, I have one outlier that drinks tea, as does my wife. Tea drinkers kind of break my heart, but that’s another story.
Mom’s mother passed away while she was young, and her dad lived about five hundred miles away from us while my sister and I were growing up. So, Mom did things to help my sister, and I remember Grandpa. Since one of Mom’s favorite early memories was how her dad would leave a bit of coffee in his cup or saucer, knowing Mom would drink it, she wanted her kids to keep that tradition of drinking coffee, and we have. My sister and I started early in life; we remain avid coffee drinkers, though I more than her. I’ve probably had every coffee making device ever invented.
Where’s the Devotional?
By now, you may be asking, Gary, how are you going to wrangle a Christian devotional out of coffee, especially when so many people loathe the stuff? Well, here goes…
Drinking coffee is a habit for real coffee drinkers, not a bad habit, but just a habit. Smoking is a bad habit. Eating vegetables is a good habit. Habits are neutral; it is what you do that makes it bad or good.
What is Your Ritual?
So, for coffee drinkers, we all have a routine, and most of us have a cup of coffee every morning. We each have our own little rituals we perform to have that cup, and that ritual is almost as important as the cup of coffee itself.
Maybe your ritual is as simple as driving to Starbucks, ordering your grande latte, pulling up, getting that hot, steaming, cup, paying (adding a tip), and going on your way to work, smelling the rich aroma as you complete your drive. Perhaps, like me, you buy whole bean coffee. Your ritual includes grinding the beans to just the right consistency, breathing the fragrance released by the beans and their oil.
Regardless of your routine, I’m confident you’ve built a habit that contains a ritual, all of which contribute to the satisfaction you receive from that first sip; suddenly, you’re awake and ready for the day.
Now we Pray?
Routines and rituals are also keys to effective times with God. The Apostle Paul said, “pray continually” (1 Thessalonians 5:17). We should do this for our good. We should always be in communication with God to know His will and not waste our time on useless ideas, activities, or plans.
In addition to our continual prayers, we need times when we are truly alone with God. We need to put our mobile phones in airplane mode, turn off all other distractions, and behave the way we would if we were standing before the Supreme Court.
Will our Routine fall Apart?
Our alone time is when we make our petitions known to our heavenly Father. We need time for the Holy Spirit that lives within us to speak to our hearts, and we need time when God makes us aware of things we should correct in our lives. We also should be interceding in prayer on behalf of others. And, of course, we should be studying the Bible. Unfortunately, these vital activities tend to fall apart and get pushed aside due to “life.” We have good intentions, but we find it challenging to keep these activities active. Now, take a sip of your coffee.
It’s the routine and ritual for coffee drinkers that enables us to keep this going for years and perhaps our whole life. If we develop a routine for our quiet times with God, we will have a lifelong habit of getting alone with Him.
We Should be Grumpy if we miss our time with God?
Create a routine for meeting with God that, if violated, makes you grumpy, and create habits that bring you into God’s presence. I don’t mean ecumenical rituals or shrines. What I mean is that we always go to a quiet place, lock the door if needed. We begin by praying the Lord’s prayer, reading the “verse of the day” on Biblegateway.com, and so forth. These activities, repeated daily, teach us to prepares ourselves to meet our Maker!
If this idea is new to you, then I recommend that you start your Bible reading in the book of St. John. You can read the Bible online or a paper book. Bookmark where you finish so you know where to start tomorrow.
With your Bible open, pray, and ask Jesus to guide your reading and your prayer time. Spend a few minutes uncluttering your mind, so you are in-tune with God. Do a Bible study or listen to a podcast. Ligonier Ministries, DesiringGod, and Bible Hub are a few websites that have quality Bible studies.
I Should do This Every Time?
Still, the most important thing you can do is (if possible) get on your knees; talk with God. You know some of the things you’ll pray about, but you will also hear from the Lord through your Bible study, and the Holy Spirit will bring something to your remembrance. Conclude with a time of giving thanks and, perhaps, worship. That’s your ritual. That’s what you do every time. There’s no fumbling around.
You can do This!
That’s how coffee makes a good analogy for your consistent time with God. This routine is maintainable for your whole life! Now, take another sip of your coffee or tea or water and tell yourself, “I can do this with Jesus.” That’s good news.
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