Let me tell you about the worst cup of coffee I have ever had…because it was also the best cup of coffee I have ever had.
While working on an agricultural project in Zambia years ago, I had the opportunity to plant some coffee bushes. I knew nothing about growing coffee but thought I would try. It takes about two years before a young coffee bush produces any berries. So after a long wait and just weeks before I left Africa, the berries were ready for harvesting.
Way back in the olden days, we didn’t have ‘Google.’ I had limited information about how to prepare the coffee beans. I did find an old agriculture book and attempted to wash and then roast the beans as instructed. After they were roasted in my oven, I ground them up, boiled some water and made coffee.
It was terrible. No – horrible! Practically undrinkable. It tasted like hot water had been poured over green pine needles and sifted through dirt. It was very fresh and very earthy. But it was my coffee. I grew that coffee. I harvested the beans and roasted them. And my coffee tasted great! While resisting the urge to spit out each mouthful, I couldn’t help but feel very satisfied that I had grown my own coffee.
Have you ever noticed that food tastes better when you grow it or make it yourself? I’m not much of a vegetable lover, but the best vegetables I have ever eaten have come straight out of the garden we had when I was a kid. I loved those fresh veggies even though they weren’t as clean or as big as the ones you could get in the supermarket. There was nothing better.
We enjoy and get value out of the things we do for ourselves. Whether it’s cooking a meal, making your own clothes, fixing your car or hooking up your own Wi-Fi connection – we get a sense of satisfaction when we do it for ourselves. We learn something in the process. We value what has been created.
I think it’s like that in our spiritual life as well. It’s good to listen to a sermon or read a book…but the greatest insights and growth come when we do the work for ourselves. As maturing believers, we have to learn to feed ourselves. Attending to our own personal growth through daily Bible reading and prayer is essential. Peter reminds us that we are responsible to “grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.” (2 Peter 3:18) So skip Starbucks this week and brew your own coffee. It will be great!