TOASTED GRAHAM (CELERY OVERTONES)
Banana Foster Flambe. Pumpkin Caramel Latte. Spiced Chai Cyclone Crazy. Sweet Strawberries and Cream Vanilla Shake.
These are all flavored coffee options. Don’t those sound delicious? Is there anything in that list you want to try?
When you make a cup of coffee, the first thing you do is not taste it. Instead, you smell it while the coffee is brewing. Smell is the first thing that triggers the brain that this cup of coffee is going to be GOOD. Like, super yummy good. The aromas waiver in the air until the brewing process is complete.
Sometimes when we brew coffee in the office, the delicious-ness strikes the noses of everyone in the vicinity and people will start to ask, “Mmmm… what is that wonderful smell?”
And then finally… that first sip.
I don’t know if you’re as crazy about coffee as I am, but if you are, you’ve also learned that flavored coffees can be a HUGE disappointment. That wonderful aroma that filled your nostrils a few minutes ago? That wonderful smell that tickled your taste buds in anticipation? It’s just not there when you take the first sip. In the world of food and flavors, *usually* the smells and tastes are in alignment. But flavored coffees? They are often out of sync.
Out of sync—what I smelled isn’t what I tasted. This disappointment does something to the brain. That chocolate truffle? It tastes like dirty water. That pumpkin pie? Just cheap weak coffee. This Starbucks Toasted Graham that’s currently in my cup as I type? I swear it has overtones of celery. Yuck. Weird. (I’m still going to drink, by the way…)
I think our Christian lives can be so much like flavored coffees. Sometimes the initial impression we give is like a vibrant and wonderful smell. But when you really get to know us, there is a disappointment. We’re not as ‘holy’ or ‘spiritual’ or ‘mature’ as we once let on. We’re sinful. Our character has major defects. Our workday’s lifestyle doesn’t match our Sunday morning devotion. We are out of sync.
But every now and then you encounter a Christian who’s life and outer shell match the inside. They’re devotion is pure. Their workday lifestyle matches their Sunday lifestyle. Their character oozes the character of Christ. They are REAL. They are in sync.
But they are also a rare-breed.
There are only a few flavored coffees I’ve found that are in sync. They are also a rare breed. But when that taste and that smell are in complete alignment, it is bliss. My brain doesn’t feel tricked—instead it is in a state of joy.
I want to be that type of Christian—that brings a state of joy and honesty that doesn’t trick someone’s brain or bring disappointment.
Flawed, but honest about the flaws. Sinful, but quick to run to forgiveness and offer forgiveness. In step, in sync, with my Savior. I’m not there, yet!
Director of Worship & Media