Another Cup of Coffee

Vaniz   |   April 19, 2023 

I returned home after a tiring day at the office on a Wednesday. A couple of hours later my husband reached home and after a while, asked me for a cup of coffee. It is a very regular everyday interaction, nothing dramatic. Usually, the coffee is made, gulped down or sipped by, conversations sometimes, silence sometimes and then we go about the rest of the evening.

After a while, he asked nicely, “Hey, I feel like having another cup of coffee. Could you please get me one more?” This was an occasional occurrence too and there are days when the second cup is consumed without much ado. Well, let’s just say that I was not in the right frame of mind that Wednesday, so I decided to ignore him for a while. He thought I didn’t hear him, so he asked again and then I lost my cool and replied in a harsh tone, “Nobody made coffee for me when I came back, how do you expect me to make two cups for you? If you want, you can make coffee for yourself.”

There was no coffee nor any conversation in the house for the remaining few hours that evening. Silence all around us. Initially, I felt elated that I had stood my ground; maybe adhering to the feminist point of the clichéd view that men need to access the kitchen more. Equal rights, after all, you see. Later, when my temper cooled, I felt perhaps I shouldn’t have been rude. But I ended up justifying to myself that I was right.

Strangely, life lessons are thrown at us from unexpected places. Only a few days after this cold conversation in my house, I chanced upon a social media post from an ex-colleague who poured out her grief at losing her spouse to Covid. She posted a picture of two cups of tea and wrote about how she has been making two cups of tea throughout the year, poured in their usual two cups and drank both of them, remembering her dear husband. I was reduced to tears, reflecting on my act of overconfidence, selfishness and lack of love. How casual of me to not rejoice in the companionship and respond with love, but react in anger.

I turned to God asking for wisdom and patience to overcome my impulsive reactions and read in Luke 10: 38- 42, that Martha was preparing for a feast for Jesus and His friends. She was well-meaning and enthusiastic and put in hours of hard work to prepare great food. Her sister, however, was nowhere in the kitchen. So, Martha asked Jesus, “Lord do you not care that my sister has left me to do all the work by myself? Tell her then to help me.” (Luke 10:40).

My heart goes out to the tired, exhausted, annoyed, poor Martha. Her emotions are absolutely relatable. She must have thought, “Why am I the only one working my fingers to the bone when others in the house seem to be chilling and don't seem to be bothered”. Her anger was justified.

Jesus’ response is fascinating. That evening, He did not turn water to wine, He didn’t tell Martha to bring Him just two loaves which He could multiply to feed everyone, and He didn’t pray for manna to fall from heaven. He could have easily resolved Martha’s angst, but instead, He directed her attention elsewhere. He says, “Martha, you are worried and distracted about many things; there is need of only one thing”. (Luke 10:41)

Mental health professionals generally advise focusing on one’s breath and on just one thing to centre our thoughts while we are distracted and flustered. Jesus teaches Martha a more impactful method to focus, which is, to just sit at His feet. It means to keep our eyes on Him, meditate on Him, to know and enjoy His presence every moment that we breathe. The ultimate experience of true calm is through practising the presence of God, not just while kneeling in prayer or reading scriptures, but in conditioning our constantly oscillating minds to abide in Him in the real world of anxiety, annoyance, and exhaustion. Looking to Him does not change the external stimuli, it simply changes our heart attitude and therefore our response and everything else that follows.

Certainly worth reflecting over a few more joyful cups of coffee!

 

 

Photo by Christian Chen on Unsplash

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Vaniz

Hello, nice to e-meet you! I'm a student of life, a child of God and a person who loves to celebrate the simple joys of creation. There is love and beauty in everything around us only if we have the eyes to see it. Though I'm imperfect and inconsistent, I've learnt that God sees our availability more than our ability, He calls and He qualifies. I'm a full-time HR professional, a mother of two children and I love music and the rain.

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