Why Is It?

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

About a fellow sojourner

a sojourner in life, trying to follow in the steps of Jesus.
This entry was posted in Blogroll, Christian Living, Christianity, Following Jesus. Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to Why Is It?

  1. Cecil Walker says:

    Been there many a time my Brother. The most recent incident was when I got on to my son about leaving his I-Pod all over the place and being careless with it. A few moments later as I stood with it in my hand it suddenly ejected itself from my grip and crashed to the ground. As a wise man once said, “Rut-row.”

  2. Kathy says:

    A suggested and successful treatment for our own beam – a good, loud giggle.

    When we can be a bit more light hearted about small goofs, and even big ones, it surely does help us out of the beam/speck melee. All ‘stuff’ is replaceable, some at more expense than others, but still replaceable stuff. When I remind myself that no matter the earthly value of an object, it’s still that – an object that is, according to Ephesians, all hay and stubble that will eventually burn up. The only thing that will remain is our spirit, and GOD will judge whether it’ll join the ‘stuff’ or will join God in His house. So giggle away, guys! 🙂

  3. kreyes says:

    Hi Dear Bill,

    You know I was going to rant and rave over a very similar subject on my blog, but you’ve treated it with such grace, eloquence and humor here…..well, mine would probably look like a preschooler whining in comparison! It’s difficult to not let the little annoyances of everyday life/living/people not ‘rake across the blackboard’ of your nerves. Thanks for the reminder of where we should be placing our focus – on HIM!


  4. Greg England says:

    My wife drinks maybe a cup of coffee a week, but always manages to make a mess around the coffee maker to get that one cup. After reading your blog, though, I’ll just keep my mouth shut! And try to get my messes cleaned up before she says something to me.

  5. Dee Andrews says:

    Bill – You don’t know how much I regretfully identify with this post. Terribly so. This one thing makes me more ashamed, I think, than any of my other many shortcomings.

    What’s so bad for me is that I’m always trying to be a good example for Tom, but then I turn around and blow it, while he on the other hand, always exhibits Christian attributes in this sort of thing.

    Thanks for the insightful post (and picture). Oh yeah – and for making me smell the coffee! I had an iced coffee yesterday afternoon that was really lovely. Tasted so good and was perfect for such a hot day. Do you drink iced coffee at all?

    I usually drink hot coffee in the morning with milk (I hate the powdered stuff), but no sweetener. (How about you Bill?) But iced coffee and once in a rare while evening flavored coffee with lots of sweetener.

    I think I’m going to have to go make an afternoon cup here since I’m already smelling it. You are SO right about that. SO right.

    Greg – you don’t know what you’re missing! Although Tom is NOT a coffee drinker, either. AT ALL!

  6. Gail says:

    Does that mean that I have to stop nagging the son, Bill??

    I’d have nothing to say to him if i didn’t 🙂

    Only joking. I think that I extend more grace than is good for him though.

    Seriously, I want to be a gracious Christian and I do try to be non judgmental as much as I can with others.

  7. Mag says:

    Great post.

    Gosh, I think I tend to rant because “Mom” has to take care of her own irresponsibility times FOUR.

    I can enjoy cleaning up my own messes [later], but multiply that by the last four people and there isn’t enough grace to go around.

    No…it’s my job to rant…I’m a MOM!
    It’s my job to teach responsibility…I’m a MOM!
    It’s my job to uh…leave my shoes in the middle of the floor… I have to clean them up anyway.

    That’s my argument, and I’m sticking to it! Dad’s however…they should repent and raise the grace standard in the home. 😀

  8. Bum Fuzzled says:

    Thats a nice story…makes us all feel warm inside! This would be a great place to point out that if you are driving 55mph on the highway and you get pulled over. The nice officer explains that the speed limit is posted 40mph. Even though you “goofed” and “honestly thought” the speed limit was 55mph….you still get a ticket since you were guilty anyway. I am not willing to excuse every “goof” and blame it on grace because we will all have enough things for which we can pray for God’s grace without having to add in matters of common sense that are plainly stated in the bible.

  9. Kathy says:

    Not my blog, Bum Fuzzled, but can’t help myself. LOL

    I really don’t believe it to be a matter of “blame it on grace” – rather it’s a matter of EXTENDING forgiving Grace, even as the Father has to us, don’t you think? Our forgiveness must have no exceptions, since the ONLY thing we poor human beings can forgive is the hurt that’s been caused us. Only God can forgive the actual sin itself. And as is the case with God’s forgiving Grace, that forgiveness does NOT include approbation of what occurred, it is simply giving up our right to get back at ’em. God separates us from those sins as far as the East is from the West [they never meet, you know], but He does not excuse the repurcussions of the sin just the blot on our souls.

    btw-inmho – there are times that God’s way is not that of ‘common sense’ – if it were, we’d still be waiting for Jesus to come to earth the first time. 😉

  10. Angie says:

    BILL! I love a good cup of coffee! The fact that you do makes me all the more glad that I know you!

    Memories of messes…
    On more than one occasion I have not inserted the filter properly, causing the filter chamber to fill with water and gritty grounds, spilling over the entire coffee maker. BIG MESS to clean up!
    And a couple of times I’ve gotten everything set to brew only to realize that I forgot to pour the water in. It’s still in the pot on the burner while the heating element is wondering what it’s supposed to be heating… Realizing this, I pour in the water only to be met by a huge steambath.

    Good grief. Finally I learned to set the coffeemaker each night. It’s just not safe for me to make a pot before having a cup or two!

    Messy, messy. Everything’s messy. Sometimes it’s the only way to learn.

  11. Donna says:

    Could you bring me a cup of that coffee I smell? I need it to soothe my guilty speck finding conscience. Thanks for the reminder.

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