Half awake. Blurry eyes. Groggy brain. Slippers dragging toward the French Press. I love my nifty silver and white personal coffee carafe.

Here’s How The Brew Is Made One full scoop of rich coffee grounds in the carafe. (Inhale. Mmm.) Add boiling water to carafe – half full and stir. (Inhale again. Anticipate.) Set plunger lid with open/close pour spout loosely on top to conserve heat. Wait a minute. Then lift plunger lid and stir again. (Inhale. Taste it in your mind. Mmm.) Fill to top of carafe with more boiling water. While waiting another minute, pour favorite creamer into my special morning mug to change the color of my coffee to toffee. Soft and mellow. It’s the experience of preparing this delightful beverage in my coffee nook that keeps this ritual special. Know what I mean?

Just about ready to securely fasten the plunger lid and pour out. But I’m not yet fully awake, and my morning clumsiness pushes the plunger lid off center as I place it into the carafe! Oh no! The rubber, no-slip base of the carafe hugs the counter – and the off-balance plunger pushes the top of the carafe over. I witness a “slo-mo” tragedy. I lunge to grab the tipping thermos, but too late. Wham! The whole carafe topples over. Beautiful steamy brown liquid all over the counter with spreading clusters of black coffee grounds transform the area into a chunky lake. My carafe of coffee.

Immediate wake up. What a mess!

I find myself caught in an instant replay loop . . . re-living the awful moment in my mind as if it might be a bad dream. I might still wake up for real. But alas! It is real. “Why wasn’t I more cautious in my drowsiness?” my inner voice scolds. Fully awake. Annoyed.

The challenge continues as I grab a rag. Have you ever tried cleaning up a coffee lake with coffee grounds? It’s awful. The grounds stick to the counter, not the rag. Tiny early-morning rebels. Their irritating purpose? To remain – as testimony of what happened there.

Contain the mess. Absorb it. Gather up. Wring the rag out in the sink. Back to the mess. I sandwich the grounds in the rag, pinching them into submission in the fold – and head for the sink. Again, and again. All my free morning minutes gone. Now – emergency speed to get ready. Start the beverage ritual again from scratch. No mental anticipation. Run to my special chair. Drink coffee and read the Scriptures. No leisure lingering today. Ticking time. Maybe tomorrow.

Reflecting  Thinking about the bad start to my day, I realize – that’s how life is. Hoping for wonderful experiences and relationships. Successes. Enjoyment. Good things. Then comes the unexpected slam. The topple. Unforeseen mess. Shock. Disappointment. Inner sadness. Maybe a self-scolding. Re-live the awful moments. Bad dream? Not a chance! Sometimes, not even your own fault. “If only . . . “ And clean-up isn’t quick or even successful. Lingering bits – testimony of what happened there. Waste.

Yet! – that inviting carafe with protective pour spout and plunger – even the rubber, no-slip base – still beckons, “Try again. It’s OK. I’m still here for the special morning cup ceremony.”

There is nothing like starting the day in God’s nook. Plunging into His safe, healing love. Drinking His fresh, daily brew. Resting in His clean-up. Forgiveness and forgiving. Making the best of today. Solid base. No slipping. Trying again tomorrow. God redeems every tragedy and loss for the person who trusts Him.

“Come near to God [in all your topples] and He will come near to you [to help in every way].” (Jas. 4:8)

 

 

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