I’m a late-blooming coffee lover.
It’s a bit shocking, given that my generation led the resurgence of coffee shops across the land in the mid and late 1990’s. I went to seminary in the wet and damp Northwest, a place that screamed for warm liquid. The front door of my apartment in Vancouver was a stone’s throw from three different coffee shops that all did brisk business. But I was a tea man.
Until two years ago when my wife and I went to Paris and I began to enjoy espressos like a local. Coffee here, there, everywhere. What a life! Upon my return I began drinking coffee regularly. This enjoyment has made me thankful for the coffee bean.
Yesterday I mentioned that I have been deeply blessed and helped by praying daily the Trinitarian Prayer John Stott used to pray. One of the lines that has really captured me is this one:
Heavenly Father, I worship you as the creator and sustainer of the universe.
I love the theology that springs from confessing our Father as creator of the universe. He creates from nothing, with words, in beauty and order and diversity and lavishness and persistence. Praise God that he does this in and around us all the time.
But I have not considered the second description of God in the Stott prayer very often; God is the sustainer of the universe. God is intimately involved not only in creating this world but in keeping it going; rain, sun, air, ocean, seed, harvest, threshing, kneading, and breaking bread. God doesn’t just create and then go. God stays and sustains. I don’t know if you’ve ever created something and then gotten bored with it, but God hasn’t. He remains committed to creation, that it might thrive.
In an interview this past spring the director Steven Soderburgh, talking about movie making, said “The exciting part is the idea, and then the execution of it sometimes is just laborious.” This is a truth that I have encountered many times.
And in that finite light isn’t it more amazing that the God who created the universe also sustains it. In the words of the psalmist, “Who am I that God should think of me?”
Which brings me back to beans, and coffee. I often will drink some in the morning as I sit to be with the Lord, to pray, to listen, to read. Here I give thanks for his creating and sustaining work on my behalf, which includes watching over all the process from the little beans that make my coffee; seed and dirt and water and harvest and grind and more water (hot this time) to sugar and cream and cup. I’m a bean lover, because this God loves me.
Dean Miller is a husband, a father of three, and a priest at The Falls Church Anglican. A graduate of Regent College in Vancouver, B.C. he loves a good book, ice cream, walks instead of car rides, all sports, and any great story. He can be reached at [email protected].