I am a coffee lover. I started drinking coffee as a child, when my mother would put coffee in my milk to entice me to drink the milk. As I got older, the less milk was in my coffee. Long ago, I weened myself from any additives that would take away from the rich flavor of the coffee. No sugar, no creamer, no froth, nothing. Just pure, rich, dark coffee. The older I got and my tastes matured, the darker the coffee roast I preferred. As soon as I awake in the morning, I make my way in the dark through the house to the kitchen where, without turning on a light, I reach into the cabinet for my cup and the rack where we keep the K-Cups holding my preferred blend. I lift the arm of the machine, insert the cup, lower it and select the largest brew size possible. Making sure my cup is placed on the drip tray in just the right spot, I wait the minute for my fresh steaming cup of coffee. I then will make my way to the chair I sit in to have my morning time of prayer, email, journaling, and meditation (not always in any particular order). I sit the cup on the coaster on the table beside my chair, sit down and situate myself, and then pick up my cup, holding it close just smelling the wonderful aroma and watching the steam rise. Then…I take my first sip of the day. It is the best thing ever. The rest of the cup is wonderful as well, but it isn’t nearly as celebrated as that first sip. Then I continue with my day.
This morning as I was performing this ritual, and as I was meditating on blessings and things I am thankful for, and people to whom I am grateful, I thought, “hey, the Holy Spirit is like coffee!” Let me explain.
I love God. I love all the natures of God, and the Holy Spirit, in my thinking, is the most important nature of God. The Holy Spirit represents that presence of God with us, not just in the cosmos. We are all unique and important to God, and God is the God of all nature. Not either/or, but both/and. This is all a part of our understanding of the Holy Spirit. The divine presence of God is made possible in the Spirit of God. The guidance, comfort, wisdom, and inspiration from God comes from the Holy Spirit at work in our lives and in our world.
Long ago, I was introduced to the knowledge of the Holy Spirit in diluted ways. Stories in Sunday school and VBS, snippets of sermons a few times a year, other little ways the Holy Spirit was referenced. I was not brought up in a Pentecostal or charismatic church so the Holy Spirit was referenced in less imminent ways. Gifts of the Spirit, baptism of the Spirit, all of these doctrines were foreign to me. As I got older, I began to develop my own understanding, my own experience of and with the Holy Spirit. The less diluted my experience, the more significance I found in the working of the Holy Spirit in all our lives.
Now, as I have matured in faith, I feel that the Spirit of God is with me and that I can find my way through the dark of the world to where I can sit and experience the presence of Spirit that is always present. The more I removed anything that would dilute my experience of the presence of the Spirit, the richer my experience became. I savor the presence of the Spirit in my life, and every morning, that first “good morning God” is always the best. I prepare myself and my surroundings to be able to clear my mind, engage my spirit, and to observe the Spirit at work in the world. The Spirit is present with me throughout the day, but occasionally, I will re-enact that first good morning sip of the Spirit at other times of the day when I especially need to feel that presence of God with me.
See, God is made known in many ways through the work of the Spirit, even in observing my own patterns and deep love of coffee. Do you have any rituals that you can relate to the presence of the Spirit? Perhaps your preferred beverage of choice is a soda or a cup of tea?
Good morning and may your day be filled with the experience of the Holy Spirit in your life.