Coffee, anyone? Did you know that 83% of Americans drink coffee? Some like it black. Some take it with cream, while others use sugar. I had a friend who would use 8 teaspoons of sugar in his cup of coffee. I always asked him if he wanted coffee with his sugar. I was pretty young when I started drinking coffee. I used to use sugar and cream. Now I just use cream. Some people prefer tea. I like both coffee and tea (and yes, I drink my tea with cream in it too!) When I lived in England, I used to help with their version of a “coffee fellowship” after services in the local Anglican Church. They didn’t have indoor plumbing, but they had a pump at the entry gate of the church cemetery. They would fill an electric kettle and a pitcher with the fresh well water. They would heat the water during the service and then served tea or instant coffee and “biscuits” (cookies) and we would ask, “Do you want it white or black?” (With or without milk). The children would get the pitcher of water and make “squash” – the British version of cool-aid. Afterward, we would pack up all the cups and spoons and trash and take it home to do the “washing up.” That question, “black or white,” still makes me think. So my question today is, “How do you take your coffee (or tea)?”
Looking at our spiritual lives, it’s never “black or white,” is it? Most often we navigate somewhere in between. So let me ask you. “How do you take your prayer?” Some people have a specific time to pray, or even a specific place to pray. Some people pray often, others pray only in a crisis. People may read the Bible and pray over the Scriptures. Others use a rosary or prayer beads to remind them how to pray. Some people pray other people’s prayers, while still others use their own words and simply talk to God. You can pray standing up, sitting down, kneeling, or even lying in bed. You can pray while you jog, or drive, or while watching the news. Some people like to pray and color. Others like to sit and meditate. Some take prayer walks or walk a labyrinth, while others sit in a rocking chair and knit. So how do YOU pray? What may work for you might not be someone else’s cup of tea (or coffee) but if it works for you – great. At times in our lives, we need to experiment in order to find what’s best as we attempt to develop our prayer life. The most important thing is to never give up! Keep praying. Over the years, you may find a different way to pray. Incorporate it. Share your prayer thoughts with others – pray with a group of friends. Find out what works in your life of faith.
So how do you take your coffee or tea?
Rev. Bev Hall, pastor of Pleasant Hills United Methodist Church, Middleburg Heights, OH