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Monday, August 31, 2015

Patience

I like a good cup of coffee. Now, I know that my definition of "good" does not necessarily match what others may consider "good" here. I like coffee with flavors. I like creamers with flavors. I like taking a sip of a hot cup of coffee and having it burst in my mouth with, well, flavors.

The other day my coffee maker was telling me it was tired. The little light came on that said it needed a good cleaning. So, I cleaned it. Not only do I like a good cup of coffee, but I'm cheap, too. So I bought a gallon jug of vinegar rather than the specialized cleaning solution they have for the coffee maker. I put the vinegar in the water reservoir, ran the coffee maker a few times so the vinegar was throughout the system, and let it sit for the day.

I had forgotten that I had done that so the vinegar sat in there all night, too. The next morning I went to make my good cup of coffee and I realized that I smelled, well, vinegar. Thankfully, I smelled it before I made my coffee for the morning. So, I put water in the tank, pushed the button, and waited.

The coffee maker made its series of hums, buzzes, and clicking sounds. (By the way, my coffee maker makes hums, buzzes, and clicking sounds.) Finally it poured forth its first cup of vinegar. Once this was complete, I did it again. Then I did it again, again, and again. I figured five times was enough to get the vinegar out of the system, since the water reservoir was now empty. So, I made my regular cup of coffee.

It's aroma was pleasing, especially after the smell of hot vinegar. I mixed in my specialty creamers (which I also buy cheap and in bulk), stirred, and raised the fresh cup of brew to my mouth. Sip. Yuck. Don't get me wrong. Like I said, I like many flavors in my coffee.  All the components of a really good cup of coffee were there. There was just still a little too much vinegar in it for my taste.

But the fruit of the Spirit is...patience… (Galatians 5:22 NIV84)

I had to go for the day, so I left without a cup of my home brewed coffee yesterday. That's alright, though. I knew it was only a matter of time before I would have a better version of my home brew. I've since run a few more cups of water through the system. This morning...mmmm. No vinegar.

This whole process has gotten me thinking. I'm willing to patiently wait for a coffee maker to hum, buzz, and click over and over again while it produces nothing but hot vinegar water. It doesn't even give me a cup of coffee while it is going through this cleaning process. Yet I patiently feed it vinegar, then feed it water, and push the button over and over again to help it through the process - all because I enjoy coffee.

Love is patient… (1 Corinthians 13:4 NIV)

Yet when it comes to people, I am not nearly so patient at times. I'm not willing to feed them what they need to clean out the junk in their lives. I'm not willing to push the right buttons and patiently wait while they hum, buzz, and click their way through their process. When I shortcut people and their process, but patiently wait for my coffeemaker and it's process, what does that say about what I love? Hmmmm. Maybe I need to stop drinking coffee... No, that's not it. I think I just need to love people, and be patient with them, at least as much as I love the coffee. Who knows? Maybe some good will come out of us, too?

How about you? What are you patient about? Does it show what or who you love?