Every Friday during our Experiential fast we are encouraged to journal about our experience. What has this fast been like? How have you experienced God during this fast? Has anything surprised you? Each week we will share reflections from people in our community across all 3 locations. This week is from a friend at the South End.
I bought a new coffee machine a few weeks back. The kind you can make espresso and lattes. After buying it I thought about returning it, it was too much, but life happened and I missed my window to return it, so I got completely into it. I tried different coffee pod flavors and different types of milk until I found the sweet spot. The sound of the machine in the morning, the putting together and taking apart of the milk compartment became routine, quickly and easily. This Sunday I committed to our lent fast, no coffee and no alcohol. Easy, right? Maybe not, my husband called me out for grabbing a coke zero, completely ignoring its caffeine content and drinking it proudly thinking “hey, it’s not coffee” but it might as well have been. I would walk into the kitchen instinctively and wander back and forth as if waiting for a reason to justify drinking coffee that morning. “I am very tired”, “I worked a long overnight shift, this is different to what other people who are fasting are going through”, “God would want me to be productive at my work”, “I am not drinking any alcohol so is that half ok” I debated on a daily basis whether decaf counted or not. I would enter the espresso machine website to look at new coffee pod flavors thinking of what my future cups of coffee would taste like. I saw the weekend not as the days I get to be in community and share with friends and family but the days I get to make myself a latte. And then as I had these thoughts I would pause and stop to reflect on what this meant. I asked myself, how many times have I tried to substitute the real thing for a fake. I asked myself, how many times have I tried to justify my own actions. I asked myself, how many times have I put my eyes and expectation on the wrong thing for my future. I asked myself, how many times have I put my own desires and wishes ahead of others’. I asked myself, how many times have I looked for distractions to avoid facing the truth. That I am weak, I am tired, I am easily persuaded and distracted, I am selfish and self-centered. Thankfully, I am reminded that You are my strength, You are my rest, You are my motivation and expectation, and You are the center of my life. The headaches are now gone, and the fast is almost over, but I wonder, am I really worthy at this point of drinking coffee. I don’t know, seems like as long as I am hanging on to my own certainty that today is ok because tomorrow I will be able to drink my own cup of coffee I still have it wrong. Anybody looking for an espresso machine? – E