So there I was, grinding my morning coffee beans. Their deep brown color, their aromatic fragrance, their tongue tingling taste. Why I wondered do I like coffee so much. Why indeed do billions of us. Every day, every hour, every country.
I suppose it's not an especially crucial question. And yet. Could it be, as the story of Eden has it, God created us, and then all the good things of the earth and sea specifically for us? If so, coffee appears to have a high place on the divine list. Along with oranges and bananas, tomatoes and cucumbers, wheat and corn, wine grapes and beer hops, tuna and talapia.
But wait. Geologists and biologists will point to evolution. Their evidence seems conclusive. Everything we are and everything the earth and sea are just sorta happened. Like the universe sorta happened about 14 billion years ago. There was no divinity whose hand triggered the Bang or whose voice boomed "be fruitful and multiply." After all this is the age of science. Shamans and holy books really have little place in all this.
So I kept grinding, accepting the evolutionary wisdom we have been taught. But still. As I poured my morning cup and scanned my morning newspaper, I had to pause a puzzled moment. In one hand the horrific news from a mad world; in the other, a mug of one of that world's gentle treasures. How to reconcile the two? The madness with the treasures?
The way I once learned the answer was this. A loving God had created a spectacular world for us...we blew the offer...but we are still left with his spectacular world. If only we could re-learn how best to use it. And its gifts. Like my coffee, my bananas, ahh, but maybe not so much my broccoli.
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