I’d just finished up one meeting and was heading into another.
I was dragging, struggling to focus. Limp and overwhelmed, like an overcooked noodle in a pool of Alfredo sauce.
I walked toward the appointed room, and there, before me, like an oasis in the desert or a McDonald’s after eating a month of Whole 30, was what I really wanted.
We’ve got the best coffee bar in our entire headquarters. People walk from other buildings just to partake of the refreshment from that space. Designed by a dear friend, it satisfies the aesthetic sense as well as the caffeine need.
There was a significant problem. It was 3 p.m. Mid-afternoon when the woozies are want to hit anyway. The time of day when some type of fuel is necessary.
Coffee has been my fuel of choice for years. There was a season when I could drink cup after cup, no matter the time of day, and still fall asleep without a worry. But as I’ve matured (gently aged, moved on, heck, am no longer a spring chicken), I’ve found I can’t drink coffee after noon. Not regular, decaf or any iteration of the above.
It interrupts my sleep.
The conundrum was more than my boggy brain could handle. So I grabbed a cup, got a dark roast, and inhaled energy as I stepped into my meeting.
I felt great. I could contribute, follow the discussion. Act like an alive human.
Until later that night.
As I lay in bed, I couldn’t turn my mind off. It circled the day’s happenings like a chicken with its head cut off. (They really do run in circles.) I tried yoga. Read for a bit. Kept checking the clock, hoping it was time to get up. That I’d actually slept and was dreaming I wasn’t sleeping.
I needed coffee to get me going a few hours later.
Consequences are a result of choices. Every decision we make, no matter how large or small, affects us. For good or bad. I knew from the beginning that caffeine that late in the day would make sleep hard.
I drank it anyway because it provided what I needed at the moment.
Decision making is balancing consequences. Immediate satisfaction often results in future regret.
Choices in life aren’t always obvious. What looks good at the moment may be hazardous for me later on. Finishing off all the potatoes from dinner. Staying up too late to watch a show I don’t even enjoy. Being with people whose values push the boundaries of my comfort zone.
When I say “yes” to something, I’m saying “no” to something else. I can’t blame anyone else for the consequences I’ve received from the decisions I’ve made.
Jesus speaks often of us being aware of the enemy of our souls who seeks to confuse us with lies. Subtle skewed truths that appear harmless, even helpful, at the moment. The only way to recognize lies is to know the truth.
God’s truth is absolute.
The questions that need to nudge our brains are, “Is what I’m choosing worth the cost? Can I pay that without hurting or blaming others?”
Those answers alone are worth a cup of joe.