This week I had several meetings across town and for some reason I miscalculated and ended up with a 2 1/2 hour gap between meetings. I hate to waste time, so I remedied the situation by stopping at a small coffee shop for a cup of Joe.
I ordered my coffee and when the waitress brought it, I began to think about coffee. Why did God give us coffee?
Then my mind went back to my grandfather, whose greatest gift to me was a love of coffee. Nobody loved coffee more. I remember one of his favorite quotes, “You can always tell a man by the coffee he drinks.”
Anathema (a person or thing detested or loathed) to my grandfather was the idea of instant coffee. No man, in his opinion, would ever drink anything of the kind. “If a man would drink instant coffee,” my grandfather perked, “there’s no telling what else he would do. Never trust a man who drinks instant coffee.”
Grandfather always kept a fire in the old wood cook stove and on the back of the stove he kept his coffee pot, a large 2-gallon pot — one of those old-fashioned percolators long since gone out of style. The coffee was always on, and no matter when you stopped in to see him, he always had “fresh” coffee brewing.
Actually, the coffee was only fresh on Sunday. On Saturday night, he routinely emptied the coffee pot and prepared fresh coffee for Sunday morning.
He had an old coffee grinder and ground the coffee beans on Saturday night. He put some other things in the coffee. One thing I know he put in was a crushed eggshell. What it did to his coffee, I have no idea, but grandfather was sure it was an important ingredient.
The freshly ground coffee beans were put in, the pot filled with fresh water and set on the back of the stove to slowly perk. This coffee would last the entire week. The coffee was so strong on Sunday that if it did not wake you in the morning, you were dead.
Before retiring each evening my grandfather took care of his coffee. He would freshly grind a few coffee beans, sprinkle it on top of the old coffee grounds and then add a newly crushed eggshell. Then he would refill the coffee pot with water.
My grandmother once tried washing the coffee pot. When my grandfather saw her, he became furious, “Never wash that coffee pot,” he spouted, “you’ll ruin its character and a coffee pot needs a lot of character to make good coffee.”
When my grandfather died, I looked at his old black coffee pot and discovered two things. One, the original color was blue. And two, although it was originally a 2-gallon pot, it only could take three quarts of water. The “character,” so important to my grandfather, had built up so much over the years its capacity was diminished.
In pondering my grandfather, I thought about my Heavenly Father and His gifts. The Bible puts it this way: “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.” (James 1:17).
I really do not know why God gave us coffee, but I do know God’s character is of such a nature that it never diminishes His ability to bless me each day.
Rev. James L. Snyder is pastor of the Family of God Fellowship, 1471 Pine Road, Ocala, FL 34472. He lives with his wife, Martha, in Silver Springs Shores. Call him at 1-866-552-2543 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. His website is www.jamessnyderministries.com. The church website is www.whatafellowship.com.