Sometimes quitting is good. Let me explain.
I decided to quit all coffee this last week – cold turkey. For some that’s not a big deal. For me it is. Fifteen years of at least two cups a day – and big cups, mind you. If I went anywhere overnight I had to know where the closest coffee machine was for the next morning. Seriously, it was part of my planning for when we went on trips…where’s the coffee. Couldn’t be without coffee or the headaches would start, and I’d get all foggy.
I’d thought of quitting before, but the time never seemed right. I didn’t have time to suffer the headache that would come, or I didn’t want to work at non-crankiness for whatever was happening in the coming days that week. I didn’t want to be sans caffeine for church, because I wanted to be awake for the preaching. I didn’t want to be sans caffeine during the week because I have people to take care of. I didn’t want to have blinding headaches for a week, or to be cranky from now to a coffee-less eternity. After all, it’s my personality in a cup, right?
So I stayed on it.
Then, one Sunday night, I ran out of creamer. Now I take my coffee with lots of creamer, and sugar, no straight black coffee for me. So no creamer means no coffee.
I decided, right then and there, that this would be where I took my stand. I prepared like a general planning for overtaking a difficult enemy hill. I had my headache meds, my schedule cleared, and my family braced.
I don’t remember Monday.
Well, seriously, Monday was sort of a blurry day of brain fog and headache. Family was just fine, but they left me to my fate for the most part. Tuesday and Wednesday were much better, still a little fog, but not as much pain and I could talk…which is nice.
Then by Thursday I felt human again – and caffeine free. Weird.
Seriously, I’m fine now.
So…I got to thinkin’…
Sometimes we get stuck on things spiritually, too. We have these holdups, these addictions that aren’t necessarily sin, but they weigh us down. They make us stop and have to plan for them, make us go out of our way to keep them in our life, and they can interfere with ministry if we let them take control of us. Sometimes things we hold on to, habits, schedules, distract us from what we should be doing for God.
So what’s distracting me spiritually? What’s getting in the way of ministering to those around me every day?
And why am I not giving it up yet if it’s a distraction from what God wants?
Am I afraid of the consequences? Afraid of the possible pain? Afraid of the hassle it’ll create to let it go?
Am I afraid of getting that weight off because I think the disaster that will follow is more than I could bear?
Look, the headache may come. The hassle might happen. There’ll be a struggle most likely. But didn’t God say He’d be there for us in trials and temptations?
So while there might be a bit of a struggle to get out from under the things that distract us, in the end the struggle is worth it.
I’m clearer now, able to pick up and go when I need to without needing to find the nearest gas station coffee machine and able to say I’m honestly not controlled by caffeine. I’m not letting it control me.
Let God be in control. He does it better anyway.
Sherry Chamblee can also be found at her blog http://www.sherrychamblee.weebly.com where you can now sign up for her newsletter.
About the Author:
Sherry grew up in various cities around northern and central California. This gave her all sorts of stories that sat and festered in her brain, waiting to be let loose. She eventually went to college in Wisconsin, where she met her equally frenetic husband, Rich. They have six (yes, count them) children, two dogs and a cat, and currently reside in a madhouse in the southern California area. As a family, they enjoy being active in their local church. Sherry spends her time writing when not caring for Granny, the kids, the dogs, the cat and any number of strays in the neighborhood.
You can also follow her on Twitter @SherryChamblee