I must soberly confess that I have throughout my life given into habits and rituals.
One ritual I have is when I get up in the morning, the first thing I do is have a nice hot cup of coffee. This is what really gets me going in the morning. You do not want to meet me before I have my morning cup of Joe.
Before we go to bed each evening, the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage prepares the coffee pot to go off in the morning so it’s ready when I get up. I’m not sure how many years she has done that, but she did it today, and that’s all that counts.
The other morning something different happened.
I got up in the morning, as usual, I went to prepare my coffee.
Everything went well until the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage came into the room where I was, she stood there staring at me and finally said, “How’s your coffee this morning?”
I bounced a smile back to her and said very enthusiastic, “It’s the best coffee I’ve had all day.”
“So,” she said rather hesitatingly, “your coffee this morning is just like normal?”
I chuckled and said, “Just like my coffee every morning.”
“Maybe you should look at your coffee again,” she said.
As I looked at my coffee, it did look a little different. The coffee was whiter than usual, but that’s all I could see.
“Take a sip and tell me what you think.”
I took a sip, it was hot and I didn’t notice any difference.
“For your information,” my wife said somewhat sarcastically, “I forgot to put the coffee grounds in the coffee pot last night. All you have from the coffee pot is hot water.”
I looked at her, thinking, of course, she was trying to trick me into something. Then she brought the coffee pot in and showed me. Sure enough, the water in the coffee pot was water and not coffee.
“I forgot to put the coffee grounds in the coffee pot. That’s why the water is clear. It was my mistake.”
I stared at her for a few moments, not knowing what to think, and then I broke down in hilarious laughter. “So, I’m not drinking coffee this morning.”
Together we laughed for a few moments, then she went back into the kitchen and made the coffee all over again, and this time she did not forget to put the coffee grounds in the coffee pot.
How many times am I doing that sort of thing in my daily life? Maybe I’m going through certain rituals and habits and not realizing that I’m not really doing what I think I’m doing.
Just like I thought I was drinking coffee, maybe there are times I think I’m doing what God wants me to do, and perhaps I’m not, just going through the motions.
In reading the Scriptures that morning, I read, “This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable unto men” (Titus 3:8).
Each day, my goal is to make sure I’m carefully doing what God wants me to do for His honor and glory.
Dr. James L. Snyder
Dr. James L. Snyder is pastor of the Family of God Fellowship, 1471 Pine Road, Ocala, FL 34472. He lives with his wife in Silver Springs Shores. Call him at (352) 687-4240 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. The church website is www.whatafellowship.com.