let it brew
In the morning, he puts a cup in my hands, french-pressed and steaming, the flavor deep, and I sip, letting the new day develop. My chilled fingers begin to warm to the living ahead of me, living that surely overflows the banks and spills, splashing. I crack the blinds and watch light overtake darkness, slowly, a quiet inhale. And sliding into my chair, I let flavors of thought blend, slipping smoothly from my pen into rivulets and streams and tangled, flooding tributaries of Living Water. The best things mature slowly: good coffee, relationships, blooms. Bright ruby now rims the wide bud of the amaryllis on my desk, a thin and elegant promise. I could make a list of these things; I think maybe today I must:
a good story, thick with plot, plump with personality
rising bread, still impressed by kneading fingers
heirlooms, seasoned with history
This hurry-sick life, this high-pressure, schedule-busted, instant world tells a bold lie, that nothing is worth waiting for anymore. Somewhere, in the shadows, we still hear the whisper of something Esau said, “If I can’t have it now, I think I’ll die, so what good is a birthright to me (Genesis 25:32)?” We still sell our souls for immediate relief, nevermind the simmering abundance God wants for us.
Just yesterday, warmth blew into my winter—an unexpected sighting of Spring, still months from coming. I laced up my shoes and went for a run, shedding layers, leaving them behind, and as my feet thwacked the asphalt I prayed: what to do, how. “Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life (Matthew 6:27),” The Spirit asked, waiting, waiting on me to understand that this question isn’t about dying at all. No. It’s about living. Some translations pose the question in other terms, making it about length and stature. I wonder why it’s easier for us to understand that we can’t think our children taller or their shoulders broader–nor really would we wish to–than it is for us to acknowledge we can’t outpace God with our immediacy. The best things mature slowly:
“This is so good,” I say, peering at Kevin over the lip of my coffee mug, over the typeface “E” simply still on ceramic white. The best coffee has to steep in small batches. Pulverized dark roast drifts at the bottom of my cup like silt, reminding me: We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed (2 Corinthians 4:8), and slowly, the life of Jesus is revealed in our bodies; indeed, “our light and momentary troubles are achieving an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.” The best things mature slowly. So it’s worth it to wait, clinging white-knuckled to the One true Lord and Creator of all things, even time. It’s worth it to show up and let Him slow cure your soul. But since this is a problem for me, since sometimes I think I’ll die and what good then, is a birthright to me, I start a list of the richest carefully marinated, deliberately steeped, wonderfully aged things, to remember.