A banging noise woke me up at 4 AM and, after laying wide-awake in bed for 30 minutes, I decided to get up to make coffee.
I turned on our electric kettle,
Placed a cone filter in my plastic pour-over cone,
Counted out 3 rounded scoops of ground coffee,
Waited for water to boil,
Poured a few ounces of water over the grounds in a slow, circular motion,
Waited 60 seconds for the grounds to bloom,
Slowly poured the rest of the water in a delicate, steady, drip,
Stirring the grounds with the movement of the water,
And then waited for the final drops of water to make their way through the grounds to my thermos below.
At 43, with a family of six, this is the pace of life in which I’m most at peace. Routine and rhythm are my friends. And, for some reason, all the efficiency tools of our technological age threaten to rob me of the steady beat of process. I could buy a fancy machine that, with the press of one button, would grind coffee beans, boil water, and produce a wonderful cup of coffee. How helpful! I would be able to sleep a little longer. I would multitask while my coffee is brewing!
The pace of life during this pandemic has given some of us the opportunity to slow down–maybe even to stop completely. We have the gift of time to assess, and to gain new perspective. “Is this good activity getting in the way of my human need (and, possibly, God’s design) to experience the process?” I realize there are many others whose pace has gone into hyperdrive. Still, I wonder if there is one area that can slow down just a bit.
When I slowly pour water in a movement that agitates the coffee grounds, I hear the slow drip of coffee into the thermos. I smell the rich, smooth aroma as it fills the room. I see the caramel colored crema swirl as it is released from the beans, and the steam dancing in circles above the hot liquid.
Why do we need all these “new” mindfulness activities? Because we’ve forgotten the gift of experiencing process. We press a button for coffee, rush into our day, and then need to download a color by number app to wind down.
As I sit in the dark, quiet house this morning, I’m convicted that this is so often how I experience Christmas. I forget to slow down, and to “behold” each powerful miracle God worked together (in an amazing process) to fulfill his promise to rescue us.
In December, one of my favorite ways to remember this big picture process, is to listen to Andrew Peterson’s musical “Behold, the Lamb of God.” He weaves together the story of Christ from Passover to Resurrection. His lyrics lift us up from the nativity and give us an aerial view of God’s big story of love for his people. His musical score moves us to deep contemplation and joyful celebration.
The in-person concerts are a wonderful experience. However, this year, there’s an online concert available for $20/household (click here for more info). I can’t wait to watch it with Chris and the kids this week. The album is also available on Apple Music (and probably most other music subscriptions).
Whether you are celebrating or grieving, Christ is near… and that is what Christmas is truly about. Love to you this COVID Christmas!!!