Saturday, October 21, 2006

Coffee With God

Author's Note: This article was originally written and published in the local newspaper in Nov. 2003 when I served as Pastor of Turning Point Church in Monett, MO. The article was later published in the Missouri Voice as well as The Pentecostal Herald.

No, it’s not a new coffeehouse, a cybercaf√©, nor is it a new form of “drive-thru” religion. It’s a simple thing that many people might refer to as “prayer,” yet this came to me in a most unusual way.

Over the past several weeks, I have been teaching a series of lessons to our folks here at Turning Point Church about “spiritual communication.” In today’s society, I understand this topic might raise a few eyebrows; it seems like a lot of folks are wanting to delve into “spiritual communication” nowadays, what with Harry Potter, Sabrina, etc. However, “spiritual” only denotes what sort of communication one is desirous of; the key word here is “communication.” Do some simple research on divorce patterns and you’ll find that one of the leading factors in divorce is lack of communication.

In the 1967 Paul Newman classic, Cool Hand Luke, the warden makes the famous statement: “What we got here is failure to communicate.” Sadly, this is the source of many folks’ unhappiness in their relationship with man and GOD.

Time and space won’t allow me to give even a brief run-down of what we have been studying, but allow me to share this with you: Communication—and this includes our time with GOD—is more than just a one-sided conversation. There has to be a time when we actually take time to talk with Him, instead of just to Him. Hence, the subject I’m writing about today, Coffee With GOD.

Working a secular job, I am required to awake at an ungodly hour and be at work at 4:30 A.M.. However, there is much to be said for early-morning prayer, and on this particular morning, I really wanted to spend a few moments with GOD before rushing into the day. I knew I didn’t have much time, and I desperately wanted my coffee, so I grabbed a cup, and slipped into the sanctuary of the church.

It was dark and quiet, and to be honest, I felt a bit like a small child who was invading Dad’s office . . . especially since I don’t normally agree with food or drinks being in the sanctuary. However, I stood there in the darkness, and quietly spoke: “God? Can I have my coffee with you this morning?”

It was as though He had been waiting on me; I felt His Presence, and His invitation was all too real. No, He didn’t mind me bringing my coffee into His house, and He wanted to spend a few moments with me as well. (I was careful to hold onto the coffee cup and not spill!) And there in the darkness of the early morning, I had coffee with GOD.

I hope this doesn’t sound irreverent or sacrilegious; it’s just a simple fact that I have discovered that communicating with GOD doesn’t require the bending of a knee for thirty minutes, an hour, or longer. Matter of fact, friends, true prayer can be done anytime, in any place. Prayer is communicating with GOD, and that can be as simple as “Good morning, GOD.”

Think about it: when you communicate with your spouse, children, friends, or even co-workers, you don’t expect, and certainly wouldn’t desire, fifteen minutes of pleading and begging and telling you how rotten life is. You don’t expect a Christmas list of wants every time you sit down and talk with someone. What sort of marriage could survive “communication” that only included demands or requests to have something done, yet never included words of love, adoration, praise, and even simple down-to-earth conversation?

Let me encourage you today to take some time and have coffee with GOD. If you’re not a coffee drinker, that’s fine. Enjoy some alone time with Him, however, and let Him know that you’re thinking about Him. Don’t nag Him to do something, because if you’ve asked, He’s already heard you. Just spend time talking with Him; let Him know that He is loved and appreciated, that you acknowledge Him and the things He does for you. Ask questions, and then wait for answers. Oh, I know; sometimes those answers can be hard to hear, and sometimes they may take time, but He’s listening. And He wants to communicate with you, too.

Coffee with GOD . . . It may not seem proper, polished, or poised, but it’s communication with Heaven, and that’s good for anyone.