One of the favorite parts of my day is first thing in the morning. Don’t mistake this for meaning that I am a morning person. I awaken slowly! But my husband, also known as my “coffee angel” has found a way to entice me out of bed in the morning with less pain. After I stagger down the stairs, there waiting for me is a freshly brewed pot of hot coffee. I make a piece of toast, fill my cup, and stagger back up the stairs. It is the beginning of my spiritual practice, and within a few minutes, I am excited and awake for the new day.
One of the things that make this a favorite part of the day for me is that I can plan on it. He is faithful. There is always some fresh coffee waiting for me when I wake up. How many things in life can you plan on to be that reliable? That in itself makes it worth anticipating.
The other thing is that it takes an otherwise unpleasant event for me, and turns it into something that I look forward to. My family has always teased me about my sleepiness in the morning. My husband took what has always been difficult for me and turned it into a special part of our relationship.
This would not have worked for me if he weren’t dependable. If there were coffee now and then, it would not have the same effect. But because he can be counted on, it has made a real difference in my attitude towards mornings.
I believe there is a similar spiritual comparison to our spiritual practice. If we are faithful to just show up in some manner every day, in meditation and prayer and committing to service to others, we will find that some of the difficult things in our lives begin to change. Things that we have always hated or dreaded will become manageable. Our attitude towards them changes as God’s Spirit faithfully works upon our hearts.
A cup of coffee in the morning is not expensive or spectacular. It would be easy to decide it had little or no impact. But my husband can see the results of his faithful small attentions. Likewise, it is easy to dismiss the idea of a daily spiritual practice. After all, it doesn’t seem like that big of a deal. But it makes all the difference in the world.
It’s never the grand or the extravagant that moves the world or our lives, it is always in the small and mundane where great changes begin. The Spirit is like water running over the rough edges of our lives. Over time, there is a noticeable difference.