I don’t need coffee. Really, I don’t. I like coffee—good coffee, that is; but I don’t need it. I merely enjoy a mug of good coffee every day. Usually two. JUST WHAT DON’T YOU UNDERSTAND ABOUT WHAT I AM SAYING!?! Ok, so I fear to talk with God (or anyone else) without at least two mugs in me, that doesn’t mean that I’m dependent on it! Does it?
The caffeine in coffee is a stimulant. Surprisingly, there are 115-175 mg of caffeine in every cup of drip coffee, versus 100 mg in a cup of espresso. Hum. There are also antioxidants that aid in preventing liver cancer and other diseases. The coffee bean (or seed) is grown in over 175 countries around the world, making coffee one of the most traded commodities in the world. Most people drink coffee for the quick energy boost it provides. Others, drink it as a cultural practice, or as a moral responsibility. However you see it, coffee seems here to stay as both a stimulant and as a means for social networking.
In recent years there have been a number of spin-offs from coffee to further enhance our stimulation. Ice coffee, lattes, espressos, caramel macchiatos, and even coffee lozenges; stimulation without the social dynamic, as it were. But our need for external stimulation doesn’t end there. We also have Gatorade, Red Bull, and Power drinks, all loaded with enough salt and/or sugars to fuel your adrenalin-rush to reach earth orbit. Exercise (running especially) does the trick for others. But most of us just chug down yet another mug o’ joe to keep going for yet another hour.
It’s almost as if we have all become addicted to adrenalin-rush. Do our lives feel so flat that we need that little extra “umph” to lift our spirits and improve our performance? So, other than coffee (the elixir of the gods), what kinds of things stimulate you to that enhanced life you crave? Sex, drugs, rock ‘n roll? Extreme sports? Speed (automotive)? Compassion for our world’s dismissed peoples? The will to win, to be the best you can be? To please God? To serve your country, your family, your faith? Or just to be independent and depend on no one else… ever.
After a time, many of us slowly seep into a kind of unconscious humdrum of life’s responsibilities. We are blind to the vibrant colors of the sunset over the deep green of a forest. All we see are all the trees that need to be cleared. It becomes simpler to look down at what we’re doing than to lift our eyes to the road ahead; and so we lose our way in the everyday. Stimulation, therefore, plays an important role in our lives…, but maybe from a different class. JOY lifts our hearts. LOVE makes us fly. TRAGEDY teaches us the importance of the little things— of caring, of spending time, of reexamining our priorities and interpersonal relationships. PRAISE kindles our resolve…, & pats us on the back a little. GOING FOR IT teaches us endurance and perseverance. PAIN reminds us or our frailty. FAILURE reminds us we need others. FEAR reminds us we need God.
So after you’ve had your third cup of java today, try one of the other kinds of stimulant in your life. I use PRAYER to realign focus. And MUSIC. But right now I could really use another Latte.
Have a nice week.