Saturday, September 27, 2008

Ground into Coffee

I had a boss who used to drink 8 or 9 cups of coffee a day. Seriously. And even though I love coffee, I'm praying that I never become that addicted to its effects. A good cup every once in a while is still keeping me satisfied.

But i love watching different coffee makers make coffee. There are the kinds like mine that take about 5 minutes, where the ground coffee and water get pressed together and out comes the trickling result in the coffee pot. Then there are the One Cup kinds, where you put in a little packet of coffee and a little water and it immediately shoots out a small or large cup of coffee. All within a matter of a few minutes. It amazes me.

Whatever coffee machine the coffee comes from, though, it is still made by the same general method. The coffee gets squeezed and water gets added and it gets heated up along the way, creating coffee.

It's a little bit like life. I don't want to run too far with this analogy, but good coffee takes heats and pressure to get a good result. If the coffee beans just sit around, they just smell really good, thats about it. But when they are ground up, mixed with water and heat, out comes a wonderful beverage.

I think I run away too much from the things that are hard. I, like most of the rest of us, don't like it when the pressure comes and the rain falls down, and things get a little toasty. It's just much easier to deal with life in measured amounts.

But I'm being made into something better, by a God who is refining my heart and thus my life. And for that to happen, I've got to be willing to face the pressure and heat, trusting that God really is in control and knows what He's doing.

As eric peters would say, "to trust is the hardest part".


Saturday, September 13, 2008


It's been easy for me to mix up my purposes these past few weeks. The purpose of being an intentional person around campus. The purpose of bringing community to a community-starved place. The purpose of listening before speaking...

And all those purposes are amazing. They are all important and I need to engage in them, but I think I have been missing a larger purpose: the purpose of being found in Christ, of being His child. It is, of course, our primary connection in everything we do as believers, but I wonder how much we really think about it?

I know that what usually happens with me is that I acknowledge God's prominence in my life, but then proceed to go through the days and weeks as if I'm really steering the ship. What would it look like to really give that primary connection in my life more power than I give it now? What would it look like to let those other purposes flow from the inner strength of a deep, growing relationship in Christ?

That's exactly what I want to pursue, so that all my other "pursuits", if you will, happen more naturally.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Emptying the Buckets

It's a new month, and one of my favorites at that. The freshness of school is giving way to homework and meetings, and I'm thankful to still be a student. The years have crept by and this is my last college year, and it's funny how much you appreciate being a relatively irresponsible college student when you're standing so close to the edge of whatever it is that is next.

For me that means seminary. It's always been an idea that has seemed so distant, like the video game level you never think you'll reach or the way you felt as a 13 year old wanting to be 16 so badly. It just seemed so far away. Well, now it's not so far away, and the idea that was once so distant is slowly coming into view.

With that said, i don't want to get ahead of myself. Or take myself too seriously here. I've still got 25% of my college experience, and I have so much time left. I just don't think it's a good idea to end anything by spending the last significant portion of that time saying how much you'll miss it. That's not really the way I want to live life, jumping from one set of years to the next, wishing I could "bring back the glory days", whatever that means. No, life is to be lived with a healthy appreciation for the past, and a good dose of hope for the future, all the while enjoying THIS season of life.

So that's what I'm trying to do, enjoy this time. Take it for all its worth, and squeeze all the good times I can out of it, realizing that the road ahead is not necessarily what I can see, but what my Master and Guide can see. He knows the way, and so for now, I'll try to trust that.

So it seems that all that is left to do is to empty the buckets of whatever I am carrying around, allowing God to fill me up with His love and His strength for this new part of the journey. The old water just won't do, it's been getting a little muddy and it's time for some fresh water in the bucket.