A Lesson from the Coffee Bean

I love coffee. I love everything about it – the smell, the flavor, the feel of running beans through my fingers, the sound of a coffee maker at its business. Beer is good, wine is delightful, soda is… sickly sweet and I don’t care for it often. But a good mug of coffee is a daily pleasure. It is one of God’s finest gifts.

This last summer I started roasting my own coffee, rather than relying on stale and bitter canned coffee or expensive bag coffee. The process is not difficult, but it is time consuming. Of course, there’s getting the raw beans, which is not something you can usually pick up in the grocery store in small town Minnesota. I have place in Madison, WI (Burman Coffee) where I can get them for the cost of $5/lb (or less) and a few days waiting for the shipment.

Once I have the beans, I put them in my roaster – a West Bend Poppery II hot air popcorn popper, which was gifted to me by a friend – in small batches. I can’t do more than about a third of a cup at a time, which when roasted is about enough for one full pot, more or less. That takes about 10-15 minutes to roast, at least for the darkness I prefer. Once roasted, it needs to “breathe” (release CO2) for at least a few hours, usually overnight.

Then it needs to be ground. Then it needs to be brewed.

So, from the day I order the beans to the moment I sip the cup is several days, with several steps in between. Not difficult steps, but they take time. (And I didn’t even talk about the growing and harvesting process that occurred before I ordered the beans.) Relatively a lot of time when viewed through the lens of our high speed culture, where I can complain if my latte in the drive thru lane at Starbucks takes long enough to prepare that I was able to instant stream an entire music video on Youtube while I waited.

But oh, how the wait is worth it! A sip of fresh-brewed, fresh-ground, fresh-roasted coffee is sublime.

Okay, if you’re not a coffee drinker maybe this isn’t going to resonate so well, but please grasp my point – things that take time are worth it, and things that are worth it take time. That’s the lesson of the coffee bean. Understand that even when you get that latte at Starbucks, while you may not have been involved in the process up that point, it still has gone through those steps of preparation before you could enjoy the cup.

In much the same way, it takes time and effort to raise a child well.

It takes time and effort to enter into and build a godly marriage that enjoys its many blessings.

It took time and effort on God’s behalf to work Salvation for the world.

It takes time and effort to develop godly habits and grow in a life of sanctification.

It takes time and effort to grow the Kingdom of God through mission work.

But it is worth it. All of it.

Learn the lesson from the coffee bean. Time and effort lead to good things.

Oh, you’re also welcome to come enjoy a cup of coffee some time. I promise it will be worth it.


One thought on “A Lesson from the Coffee Bean

  1. I was thinking a little bit about how it applies to marriage as well. Many of the things we can do to serve our spouses aren’t difficult at all! They’re just time-consuming. They require conscious thought. Caring. Planning.

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