Wednesday, January 15, 2014

I Don't Want Coffee Whitener

This past weekend we went to Canada for my son's hockey tournament. {mind you… 5 years ago that sentence would have sounded like a foreign language to this California girl} But now, it just seems normal.

We were in the sweet town of Fernie in a not so sweet motel for the night. However, with our large crew, we reserved the suite - a two bedroom, kitchen, living room combo. Sounds nice right? Picture a windowless cave with 60s decor. I'm not complaining though... just want you to have the right visual.

I was standing in the "kitchen" checking out the coffee pot and the little packets surrounding it. And I picked this up—

Coffee Whitener. I immediately posted an Instagram photo of it with the caption~ Ummm… that's scary! Simply because it obviously wasn't cream - its sole purpose seemed to be to whiten the coffee. Paint would do that trick too. So would white out probably and perhaps chalk.

I do hold some respect for the product though…  for being completely honest about its falsehood.

I wouldn't have taken the time to write an entire blog post about Coffee Whitener if I hadn't listened to the message on podcast I missed at church this weekend. It was titled Cream & Sugar.

Cream & Sugar. The land of Milk & Honey. God's promises for us. {You can listen to it here if you like.}

And it immediately made me think of that packet in the not so sweet motel. The Coffee Whitener. And then it made me think - how often do we settle for Coffee Whitener when we could have Cream?

Because I know God has a plan for my life and yours too. That those plans are filled with milk and honey… cream and sugar… his goodness abundant in our lives.

But to get to the land of cream and sugar, it takes work. Hard, good choices. It's not like simply opening a package and pouring in the magic whitening powder. It's not instant gratification.

Rather, the things that bring the reward of the richness of cream to our lives are often a result of the hard choice, the self-sacrificing choice. The uncomfortable {this makes me squirm a little bit because its outside my comfort zone} choice.

Like choosing to stop and help someone even when you are in a hurry.
Or praying for someone in the moment even though you are uncomfortable doing it.
Or not picking up that doughnut and taking a walk instead.
Or listening rather than talking.
Or letting your steps be guided rather than mapping them out in concrete. 
Or loving instead of judging.
Or waiting for what's best rather than settling for what's better. 

The world is full of whitener (things that look like what we want, but truly are not meant for us).

And the thing is… when we accept and ingest the false, fake, ridiculous substitutes... guess what? We totally don't get to have the cream! We give it up for nothing. We give it up for something we think is going to have the same effect (whiten our coffee like cream), but it isn't even close to the richness of what God had planned for us.

So my hope for you and me is that we would see the Coffee Whiteners of the world for what they are, walk past them and hold out for the cream {the rich goodness of what God truly has for us}.

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