The daily routines of life can teach us. Frederick Buechner famously said, “Listen to your life…” Our mundane tasks might indicate to us more than we think. Often, it simply takes time to stop and recognize these lessons.
Part of my daily routine includes a cup of coffee; well, multiple cups of coffee in the morning. I started seriously using a French press last year. Listening to our lives involves reflecting on our routines. We begin to sense lessons God teaches in the midst of the commonplace.
During the last week, I have stopped to take notice of what I can learn from making coffee with a French press in the morning. Here are five lessons:
1. Take Intentional Steps.
Prior to making coffee in the morning, I went to Starbucks everyday. Dave Ramsey’s budget would lessen these daily trips to save cash. Making coffee at home means getting up a little earlier. A French press involves the right water temperature, exact ground texture and proper wait time before pressing. Every little detail matters.
Dallas Willard often said, “Grace is not opposed to effort, but to earning.” Sometimes, I think we want growth by osmosis. Spiritual, physical, emotional and relational growth comes from taking intentional steps. We begin to see how God transforms our smallest steps. Grace invites to the small beginnings.
2. Fully Engage in One Activity.
Efficiency has become a heightened value of the decade. How quick can I finish a task? Is it possible to multi-task? I have a hard time starting the water to boil and grounding the coffee beans at the same time. French pressing coffee keeps you focused on each element; water, grounds and wait time. The times when I try to accomplish other tasks, I can taste it in the coffee.
What if we lived engaged in one thing at a time? Think of the meaningfulness of our conversations. When we slow down in the simplest steps, we usually do not miss the little details. The people around us might benefit the most from our full attention and engagement.
3. Disconnect from Screens.
Claire Diaz-Ortiz wrote the Barna Frame Greater Expectations. As one of the first employees of Twitter and now a renowned blogger, she implore readers to disconnect from screens especially in the morning. Without even thinking we check our phone notifications first. A morning routine devoid of screens offers an opportunity to listen to our life by prayer, reading, and expressing our feelings.
French pressing has taught me to leave the phone out of the room. Each morning allots us the time to focus on the simple joys, like a a fresh cup of French press coffee.
4. Appreciate the Roasters.
Two friends, Zach Smith and Dan Desosiers, roast their own coffee. Roasting coffee involves time and attention. Having the right roast pressed gives a fresher taste. I find myself becoming more grateful for this daily experience. Along the way people have given us time and attention. Whether our cup of coffee tastes fresher or we find life giving friendships, let’s learn how to appreciate the important people in our lives.
5. Finding Joy in Rhythm.
Saying “yes” to a pot of French press coffee means saying “no” to another task. I have found myself clarifying the important rhythms of life. Maybe the tasks we thought mattered, really break our rhythm. By committing to the rhythm of a day, we might find a more life giving pace. A little task like French pressing reminds us to slow down, rather than rushing through the day.
Take time to listen to your life. You might begin to see lessons you can learn from the simplest tasks. What have you learned from your mundane tasks? What is your experience in French pressing?
Photo credit Chris Mason Design.