3 Essesntial Parts of Living Your Best Life (or, Drinking Your Best Coffee)
I really like coffee. I know, SURPRISE, right? A friend was visiting from out of town a while back, and he asked, "Where do I get the best cup of coffee in town?" I told him about one of my favorite spots on Front Street (Front Street Marketplace is you're ever in Natchitoches, LA), as I answered, "Their coffee is really good, but if you want the BEST cup of coffee, you have to come out to the house."
We have a coffee maker that is a phenom of a machine. It has a built in grinder. That's right, I grind the coffee beans myself... and it is actually a part of the coffee maker! Just the aroma itself is reason to celebrate, but the taste is far superior to any ground coffee I've ever tried.
But the machine itself can't produce that sweat nectar of the bean. No, there are three essential things needed to drinking your best cup of coffee. Similarly, there are three essential things needed to living your best life.
1) The Bean. The bean matters. Typically, I use beans that come from Colombia and are roasted in Louisiana. But some of my favorites are also beans from Guatemala, Africa, and Costa Rica, which have been roasted in Arkansas. Some might ask, "Isn't a coffee bean a coffee bean?" NO! There are differences in flavor, aroma, and acidity. Coffee beans are unique.
Every one is a coffee bean. What I mean is, we are all unique and find ourselves resonating with those we would refer to as "my tribe" or "my people." Your life has its own flavor and aroma. Don't try to be someone else, be yourself. Keep discovering who you are, and embrace the joy of being you!
2) The Water. There are some who say the water is more than the coffee beans (or at least, just as important). I've found some truth to this. The purer the water, the more you will enjoy the flavor of the coffee. Water that generally comes from our taps isn't as pure as the water straight from the Creator. There are all kinds of additives: fluorides, chlorides, and other "ides" present. The type and age of the pipes in the plumbing may taint the taste of the water. Or you may live in an area where the water from the tap is just funky, right? But filter that water - use purified water - water that's as close to the way God intended as possible, and the taste of that coffee is just so good!
All of our lives have a flow. Experiences can enrich the flow of your life, or they can taint it. Maybe even give it a little but of a funky smell. We long for our lives to be purified, free of contaminants, just as we long for a pure water source. We want good things to flow into our lives, and out of our lives, but there are times we allow the impure in. There are some experiences that taint our flow that are beyond our control. Here's the thing: there is a authentic peace in being ok with not being in control of everything in your life, and in this peace, you can simply allow the negative (whether it was your own doing or someone else's) to flow out of your life. Good News: you can be made pure again!
3) The Power. I can put the perfect beans in my coffee maker, and I can put the purest water inside of it, but unless I plug the machine in and turn on the power, I will never get my coffee. I got the bean, I got the water, now I MUST have the power!
There are numerous places in our culture that point to the importance of acknowledging, and embracing, a Higher Power. I've tried to live my best life without this piece, and to be honest, without THIS piece, there is no peace. I've discovered this is Jesus. Jesus is more than a historical figure, more than a religious icon, more than an ancient teacher or prophet. Jesus is the power that I MUST plug into! Without the power-source, Jesus, it is not possible for me to live my best life.
My hope is that you are plugged into the power-source, and that you're honestly living your best life!