The Truth As Far As I Can Tell…
Philippians 4:12 - I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little.
If you know me very well, you would know I don’t really like the taste of coffee that much. I usually try to cover it up with way too much sugar and creamer or, even better, I put in about a ¼ cup of flavored coffemate. True coffee connoisseurs are often appalled by my coffee habits and snark, “Hey, would like some coffee with that sugar?”
Keeping all this in mind, you will be surprised to learn about the best coffee I ever enjoyed. You might guess it was some expensive gourmet blend from Starbucks or a hand roast blend out of the mountains of El Salvador made with a French press. You would be wrong. In fact, the best cup of coffee I ever had was a cheap Kirkland brand “Breakfast Blend” from Costco made on my Keurig at home. Even more surprising, it was completely black with no sugar or cream added!
What made this cup of coffee so unique, you ask? It came at the end of a special week-long diet where I hadn’t had anything to drink except water—no milk, no coffee, no coke or tea, nothing but water. So by the end of the week, my taste buds were thrilled to encounter anything besides H2O. All the flavors and nuances of the coffee sprang to life in my mouth and danced on my tongue as I marveled at the simple wonder of coffee like never before. I experience true joy in something I normally take for granted.
We humans are so prone to take things for granted. It’s part of our fallen nature. We lose gratitude and when we do, we are actually less fulfilled. The trick to being satisfied in life is not having more and more. In a counterintuitive way, more stuff tends to make us less fulfilled. No. The secret to being more fulfilled is learning to be satisfied and grateful with what we have already.
Fasting is a spiritual exercise that can strengthen our gratitude and contentment. Fasting has traditionally meant going without food. However, fasting could also be going without coffee or drinking only water or giving up something else like TV or Facebook or watching the news for a set time. Such self-denial can accomplish some very helpful traits. It could help you stop taking simple blessings for granted and be more grateful. On the other hand, you might find you do not miss what you gave up at all; in which case, you might be better off without it.
True joy and contentment in life is not about having more and more, better and better. Joy and contentment most often come when you simplify and learn to truly appreciate the blessings you have already. With intentional spiritual practice, you could learn what the Apostle Paul discovered: “…the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little.” Of course, I’m no expert and I certainly don’t claim to know everything, but that’s the Truth as far as I can tell…
Remember, God loves you and so do I!