Anyone who knows me knows I really enjoy my morning coffee – afternoon coffee – after dinner coffee. My grandmother taught me to love coffee. She was the world’s best coffee maker, too. She made it strong, very strong. She said the only way to drink it was hot and black. I learned well.
So, earlier this evening after I’d finished cutting the grass, I popped into the kitchen to brew a strong pot of grandmother-style-coffee. I washed my hands first, of course. My wife taught me that. When I walked over to the coffee brewing station, I noticed a few bread crumbs scattered in front of the wooden Lazy Susan. I knew my son and his girlfriend had just made sandwiches at this very spot before heading out to play tennis. So, I thought I’m going to have to talk to that boy. He needs to learn not to leave a mess. Of course, I cleaned it up. That would give my lecture more punch, right?
I then took a moment to savor the rich aroma of the Columbian coffee as I carefully spooned it into the basket. Then all I had to do was punch a couple of buttons and presto-automatico fresh coffee on its way. It would be ready before I finished my shower. Those of you who aren’t coffee lovers don’t know this, but those of us who are coffee lovers can actually smell the coffee brewing through our computer monitors right now!
I turned away and headed off to my shower. Then, an image flashed through my mind. I’d caught a glimpse of it out of the corner of my eye. It almost didn’t register, but it was actually becoming clearer in my mind’s eye with each passing second. There on the counter just in front of my beloved Melitta Mill and Brew Coffee Maker was the evidence of my carelessness.
Now, there wasn’t much coffee on the counter, just enough to leap up and slap me in the face and get my attention. I could just hear myself giving me the lecture I was preparing for my son. You need to learn not to leave a mess! Someone needs to clean that up. It is only right that the person who made the mess should be the one who does it, right? You just need to learn not to be so messy. It’s not that hard, you know?
Well, by God’s grace and the fortuitous glimpse of few sprinkles of ground coffee on the counter, no one got a lecture tonight. But, I did get reminded—again—that the failings of others are so much easier to notice than our own. In fact, sometimes I’m so busy pointing out the minor shortcomings in the lives of others around me that I fail to notice the huge beam that is sticking out of my own eye. Why is it that we can see the faults of others so much more easily than we see our own?
© Bill Williams
September 1, 2006