Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Cup - 10-25-12 Deadline (10/18/12)
TITLE: The Great Unifier
By Hiram Claudio
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On so many issues, we are so clearly at odds. And discussion of these distinctions often turns quickly from debate about differences to assaults on character. It appears we’ve become a people that refuse to believe respect and appreciation can exist outside of a shared ideology. Simply, we’ve come to believe that the only reason anyone would disagree with us is because something is wrong with them.
Finding something that can act as a bridge between people can seem a tall order at best. What is it that we can come together over and peacefully share and enjoy? My life experience has taught me there is one possibility … coffee!
That’s right! You read that correctly … coffee. Think about it. Is there anything that can get people to sit down and relax with greater efficiency than a hot cup of coffee? When you are thinking of ways to connect with that new neighbor, what comes to mind? Coffee! Many begin each day with it and close it in like fashion. At the end of a special meal or event, what tops it off more fittingly than … a cup of coffee?
A few notable quotes regarding this unique beverage are quite revealing …
“Behind every successful woman is a substantial amount of coffee.” – Stephanie Piro
“I have measured out my life with coffee spoons.” – T.S. Eliot
“I had some dreams, they were clouds in my coffee.” – Carly Simon
“I believe humans get a lot done, not because we're smart, but because we have thumbs so we can make coffee.” – Flash Rosenberg
And for you techies out there …
“C:COFFEE.POT missing (A)bort (R)etry (F)all asleep?” – Anonymous
“COFFEE.SYS Not Found: User startup disabled.” – Anonymous
“C:>COFFEE.COM error. Contact programmer J. Valdez.” – Anonymous
Wow, all this commentary centered on … coffee. Perhaps the most interesting quote I found on the subject states “A cup of coffee shared with a friend is happiness tasted and time well spent.” This quote’s author is not known but the comment does convey an agreed perception about the atmosphere provided when people sit down to share a cup of coffee. Why? What is the magic inside this liquid that creates such universal approval?
We could debate the possibilities of why coffee is so commonly accepted. And yet, to do so would go against its overall appeal. Simply, sitting down to a cup of fresh coffee, with the accompanying aromatic sensations supplies moments that, over time, move people from acquaintances to … friends.
Can there be a greater benefit from any consumable item than its potential, when shared, to remove the edge from our differences. To help us see beyond rhetoric and to see … people? I may not be able to march with you or vote along common lines. But the effort required to share a cup of coffee provides any journey towards common ground (no pun intended) a place to start.
In Isaiah 1:18 the Lord says to His people, “Come now, let us reason together …” (NIV). If ever two parties were more disparate in mind and heart, it would be our Creator and His creation. Yet I know so many saints who, during their daily quiet time, enjoy a cup of coffee as they receive from the Master. Their favorite blend of java seems to actually assist them in being still so they can better know Him (Psalm 46:10).
Such an amazing liquid this is. And such needed pursuits in our day … to be still and to find the ability to be reasonable with God and those around us. Oddly enough, I don’t drink coffee. All of my insights are as an observer. Yet, watching the connections made by those who sit and enjoy this beverage, and each other, makes me wonder if I have neglected something that was much needed.
Coffee – the great unifier! Okay, perhaps a bit overstated. But can you remember the last time two people sat down to argue over a cup of coffee? Usually, the intention is to reason something out or to just simply enjoy a moment.
And in our complicated and stress filled world, that just sounds like a good place to start.
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