Valentine’s Day of 2012 was a significant day for me, because it was the beginning of the end for me and my love affair with coffee.
Between then and the end of the year I had a total of 12 cups of coffee.
This was hard for a myriad of reasons – both physical and psychological. Coffee was such a large part of my identity that it was difficult me to remove it because it was something I used to define who I am.
By April 2013 I have had probably 6 cups of coffee. Not bad, but I can do better than this. I find that coffee really is my drug of choice. When I feel overwhelmed, not sure what to do or how I should feel… I find myself wanting a cup of coffee. This is most likely why I have had as many cups of coffee as I have so far this year.
And then we went on vacation.
We were driving… a lot. We put in 2000 miles in 10 days. I was tired… a lot. So I began to drink coffee again. I was fine for a awhile. I was able to curb the habit and keep it to 1-2 ‘cups’ a day. Not necessarily 8oz cups, but ‘cups’. Then it began. I began to feel irritable, anxious and it didn’t take much to bother me or set me off. I tried to ignore it or act like something else was causing it. But the only thing that had changed was my intake of coffee.
Several years ago, a friend of mine who is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and a Certified Nutrionist told me there was something unique about the way the caffeine in coffee interacts with my body. That uniqueness is not good. It affects me adversely, in ways it doesn’t the general populace. As much as I don’t want this to be true, it sorta is. coffee seems to have a negative effect on me. My intake of coffee has caused me to be irritable, anxious and a jerk to people I care about.
This needs to change.
I realized today, coffee may be a defining factor of who I am… but not drinking coffee and overcoming it as an addiction can also be something that defines me. Coffee no longer has a hold of me, no longer has control over me.
Silly, I know. I’m kinda chuckling as I write this myself. However, the Scriptures seem to indicate that anything can control us and when things begin to control us they become a problem. Hence, the problem with coffee.
It controlled me.
There are many things, even today, that control why I do what I do. Control my actions and thoughts. Give me the reason behind why I do what I do. I am controlled by a desire to be a better dad and husband. I am controlled by my desire to help people. I am controlled by the spirit who lives inside me. I am controlled by my desire to run, to exercise, to be in shape, be fit. I am controlled by my desire to not spend excessive time in the bathroom so I try to stay away from gluten. Fear motivates me to do things, my past failures cause me to act in certain ways, the lies I believe about myself push me in certain directions.
Several of those motivators I want to remove, and I don’t want coffee to be on that list either. I want to be controlled by things that make me a better person, a more Christ-like person… a man after God’s own heart.
The things that motivate us control us.
The things that control become our master.
What is your master?