My husband Jake and I take a lot of flack from our close friends and family about our coffee habit. See, we aren’t just coffee drinkers, we are legitimate coffee aficionados. We’re borderline obsessive. We were always coffee drinkers, but our love affair with it really got started back when Jake went on a mission trip to Honduras with our church. We partnered with a local church in the city to help build a well to make water accessible for people in a remote mountain village. Up in the mountains, Jake was able to see coffee grown, picked, and even roasted in the homes there in the village. He brought back such delicious coffee that sticking it in a Mr. Coffee pot seemed offensive. So, we got a Hario burr mill hand grinder and standard French press and started learning the fundamentals of good coffee. Before long, we expanded to using an Aeropress, Chemex, and even got a nice home espresso machine, reading about brew theory, flavor profiles, and the coffee industry in our free time. See, told ya. We sailed way beyond being just coffee lovers. Now we buy most of our coffee from craft roasters and prefer coffees grown in very specific parts of the world.
I tell you all this because a while back, discussing my coffee love with someone led me to make a pretty profound realization. I had turned down coffee at an event, prompting someone to step back, aghast that I, the coffee queen herself, denied a cup of joe. But see, it was Maxwell House. Now that my taste buds have been accustomed to the flavors and complexities of unique, single-origin beans with distinctive profiles, commodity coffee just tastes a bit like a watery leftover soup. Anyways, I made the comment that life was too short to drink bad coffee.
I had a bit of a reckoning, though, when I realized how much this sentiment applied to other areas of my life. Life is too short to skimp on anything, really. It’s too short to waste the day away at a job you hate. It’s too short to shortchange relationships and friendships, not giving them the time, care, and attention they need. It’s too short not to invest in our kids. It’s too short not to invest in ourselves.
My attitude about coffee has started to become my attitude about so many things lately.
I am saying no to the mundane, unfulfilling, or unimportant. That means, sometimes, things are harder.
Is it harder to grind your own beans at home, every day? Well, yeah.
Is it harder to order all your coffee from specialty roasters? Yeah. It’s certainly less convenient than picking them up a Walmart.
Is it more expensive? Yep.
But is it worth it? Heck yes. Just taste an organic, sun-dried Ethiopian from Gedeb or Yirgacheffe and you’ll get it. The best stuff in life doesn’t come easy, yet, as you probably know, it’s so very, very worth it.
Adoption is like this. The emotional and financial costs are so high, yet it is so, so worth it.
Teaching is sooo much like this. Jake is beginning his Ed.D program, and I am about to start working towards NBCT. It’s hard, expensive, and worth it.
It applies to ministry. To marriage. To education. To health and wellness.
So much follows this coffee analogy! We should not be content with the mediocre, the easy way, just good enough.
See, anything short of difficult is a sell-out. It’s missing out. It’s cheating yourself. In our family, we have a saying that we do hard things. Taking the harder road is almost always going to result in a better view at a higher destination, though. A more detailed brewing method is going to produce a cleaner, tastier cup, and that, friends, is worth the extra work put into it. Your reward is far better than the extra work it costs. Life is just too short for bad coffee.