While February 25 was only 6 weeks ago, it feels like 6 years. Why? Because during those 6 weeks I was, for the first time since I can remember, caffeine free. That’s right. Sleepy-eyed, I jumped on the wagon and made myself stay put for the season of Lent. This was no easy task.
I think I expected God to reward me with some type of spiritual espresso shot each morning for giving up something so important to me for Him. However, instead of a spiritual espresso shot, I found myself forcing down mug after mug of peppermint tea and hot chocolate (yes, there’s caffeine in chocolate but be gracious) with little to no sense of satisfaction. I felt tired and sad when afternoon came without my usual triple latte and when nights hanging out with friends in the coffee shop meant taking secret whiffs of everyone else’s joy in a mug while I ordered yet another herbal tea.
Apart from the social alienation that came when the caffeine went, I no longer had comfort next to my lap top at all times encouraging me to write just one more paragraph. Nor did I have the promise of a reward cup if I did a little more school work than planned. I wrote 2 essays and prepared/gave 2 presentations without the help of what has become my constant companion. This last fact was liberating and humbling. Liberating because I now know I am capable of productivity without caffeine pumping through my veins and humbling because I now realize how dependent I was on this – let’s just call it what it is – drug.
I could write a book about my coffee-less adventures but for blog’s sake, I will conclude with Sunday’s gloriousness. I drank my first cup in the morning when I woke up, bought some from McDonald’s (the only place open before 9am in Oxford on Easter Sunday) to take to band practice before church, drank diet coke at lunch and had a Starbuck’s latte after. All was right with the world.
The reminder of Easter Sunday this year, while happily accompanied with a little buzz, was especially sweet. For just as I felt liberated from and simultaneously chained back to caffeine, I also felt liberated and simultaneously chained to the promise that came with the day Christ made all things right with the world.