I have coffee with God in the morning, early. It’s Ok, He’s awake and ready for the day already when I roll out. True story - a friend of mine’s pastor when asked if he prays before or after coffee answered, “I’m not sure there IS a God until after I have had 2 cups of coffee.”
I have a spot on the couch, I kick up my feet, look out our back windows and actively shut up. God is noisy when I am quiet. I don’t pray, not yet. I don’t meditate or block things out. I just drink my coffee and let God fill in blanks.
My brain processes stuff, ruminates over things, beats me up and second-guesses. It’s a wonder I keep the darn thing around. In that morning time with the coffee and the quiet, God processes my life with me. I don’t get a loud voice, just flashes of inspiration, ideas and where I may be His hands and feet in the day. Actually, I did get a clear voice a couple of days ago. I had been asked to go on a particular mission trip to support Christ-following businessmen as they seek ways to align their beliefs with how they run their businesses. It’s outside of the country and for some reason as I told God about it, I started waffling on what to do. God’s voice came out loud and strong: “What do you think I made you and prepared you for?” It was a question I could answer, so I’m going. I know, I wish He talked to me that directly and clearly more often.
It’s really rare that I get such a loud and clear message. I usually get the answers, images and ideas in that time, unbidden. I’m just willing to sit for about 30 minutes in the quiet and let God help me process my life and speak into it. I really like the scripture (1 Kings 19:11-13) telling the story of God speaking to Elijah in a whisper rather than an earthquake or a tornado or a great fire. Whispers are hard to hear over the noise of life.
A couple of weeks ago my son and I drove to Chicago together - four hours up, fours hours back and a couple of days there. When we were driving, both ways, we didn’t have the radio on or headsets tucked in. We talked. We asked simple questions like “What junk food do you want for the trip from the gas station?” We asked harder questions, like “Why is marriage still even important?” “Did God have to die to make God happy?" We laughed. We drove in the quiet of two people who could sit together comfortably, without distractions, for miles. Reflecting back on it, it reminds me of the morning each day, God and me having coffee.
Lately, I have heard in the whispers, a couple of clear messages -
Calm down - I think He is telling me I am making life too hard. I know that life is hard, I think He is telling me that I make it harder.
Talk to me first - It’s like the mission trip question. If I had asked Him first I wouldn’t have waffled for a couple weeks.
Talk to me always - This morning coffee thing has taken over my rhythm. Coffee with God time is now THE thing I have to do. If I miss it, my whole is somehow just…off a bit.
You may tell me that this all is prayer just by a different name. You are probably right, although I pray differently at a different time. If this is prayer then there are different ways to pray and coffee with God is one of them.
I watched a podcast with a modern Eastern yogi discussing the idea of meditation. He said; “Meditation is not about removing your mind and seeking a blankness. Before any of that inner peace can happen that is promised, you have to just, in your time of meditation, process all of your crap out."
Processing all of the crap out. In the quiet, with God and my first cup of coffee. During that time, God is actually really noisy… in a good way, if you know what I mean.