Along with coffee itself, coffee shops are one of my favorite things. You can go to a building which exists so that we can drink delicious coffee, sit back, enjoy a relaxing atmosphere, and get some work done or talk with a friend. I think we could all use an inner coffee shop of our own.
We all need a place to go and meet with God. A place set apart – different from the everyday hustle and bustle. We need a restful place to focus. We need somewhere we can sit back, taste God’s goodness, learn something, or just have a chat.
Characteristics of a Good Coffee Shop
1. It is somewhere else. One of the reasons I often work more effectively at a coffee shop is that it is not my office. It is not the place where I answer email, twirl in my chair, plan events, and store leftover food. When a need somewhere that is different than where I deal with the ups and downs work life, I can escape to a coffee shop for some dedicated focus.
So when it comes to a place to go meet with God (whether that “place” is physical or metaphorical), we need this as well. We need a space in our day that is different from our regular life of conversations, bills, duties, and dishes. As much as it’s great to pray as we drive, work, and talk, we also need space to get away and meet with our Creator with some dedicated focus.
2. It’s comfortable. A coffee shop is a hard place to be stressed in. At least harder than most places. I can study for the same final in my apartment or at a coffee shop with very different emotional baggage hanging on for the ride.
At home studying, I’m reminded of everything else I need to do, my impending doom (test), and how I really am making a mess of my apartment and probably my life. But at a coffee shop, with warm yummy liquid at my side and some chill music hanging in the air, it seems like all is well in the world. Like it’s all going to be ok.
Our space to meet with God could benefit from this atmosphere. It’s not about checklists, deadlines, organization, accomplishment. It’s about enjoyment. Hanging out. Taking some deep breaths and looking out the window. Maybe studying something for our own enrichment.
It’s about making space to sit, rest, and slowly sip the warm goodness of God in his Spirit.
Question: How can we make such a space in our lives to meet with God? How have you been able to set apart time or make it a relaxed, enjoyable atmosphere?