If you’re a lover of coffee swirled with oodles of cream, then you understand how crucial it is when you order coffee at a restaurant.
Please leave room for cream!
Or maybe you’re at a friend’s house and when she gently pours fresh brewed coffee into your mug, you politely stop her from filling it up too far:
Remember…I like lots of cream!
Some of you would even go so far as to say you like a little bit of coffee with your cream! In that case, you are really careful about not filling your cup up too much.
But then it happens. Your server completely forgets you need room for cream, pouring freshly brewed coffee all the way to the brim of your cup. It’s so full, some of it even splashes out, making a nice little puddle right smack in front of you. Ughh! What a mess!
What a powerful picture of what our lives can be like! When we don’t leave room for any margin– cramming our schedules to the brim–everything splashes out and before we realize it, we have a huge mess right smack in front of us.
We keep filling our lives up with more and more. We say yes to every request without thinking it through. We scurry around with a sense of urgency, afraid we’re going to miss out on something. And just like that server who thinks we like black coffee, we keep on pouring until there’s no room left.
But instead of coffee creamer, in that moment we realize we have no room left.
No room to just rest. No room to sit still and read a book. No room to have even a five-minute conversation with our spouse. No room to let the kids just play outside. No room to listen to our teen unload about their bad day. No room to be refreshed. No room to be still in the presence of God.
It’s especially easy to find ourselves in this overflowing mess during the Christmas season. We say we want to leave room for cream, yet we keep on filling the cups of our souls to the brim.
Gotta send out those 100 Christmas cards!
We already have three parties scheduled, but I think we can fit this one in too.
We’ve already reached our limit of spending, but a little more won’t hurt.
I wasn’t going to buy anything for that friend, but now that they’ve given me something I need to get them something in return.
I wanted to have a simple Christmas at home, but they’re expecting us to be there!
We really want to go to the Christmas Eve service, but we have so much to do.
My house isn’t decorated like hers, so I’ve got to go out and buy some more stuff to keep up.
And the list goes on. What’s the one thing that causes your schedule to overflow? Have you left room for anything else?
The thing about a cup of black coffee filled up to the brim is that there are only two ways to make room for any cream.
You can either drink the black coffee until you have enough room, or you can pour it out. Either way, it’s going to be inconvenient. If you’re used to sweet cream, the black coffee can be bitter to the taste. And if it’s really hot, you can’t quickly drink it down to where you want it without burning your mouth.
If you attempt to pour it out, you’re most likely going to make a mess as it drips down the side of your cup. Believe me, I’ve tried this many times!
If the cup of your soul is filled to the brim, and it’s too crowded for the peace of Jesus to flow through, what can you do? Sometimes we may have to drink the bitter cup we’ve poured. It’s not pleasant. Maybe we get burned and experience grueling pain. But going forward, we’ll know better. We’ll know next time not to make a rash decision. We’ll know next time to think through a situation, asking God for wisdom. Even when we make a mess of things, God’s grace is always available. We humbly learn that the next time we will leave room for cream.
What about you, dear friend? Are you leaving room for His peace and rest this Christmas season? Are you intentionally slowing down and keeping your focus on Him? Or do you already feel your cup getting too full? Are you allowing others to fill your cup to the brim without saying stop?
Relax with your family. Celebrate your friendships. Rest in His presence. Enjoy your cup of coffee, but whatever you do…….leave room for some cream.
Psalm 46:10 “Be still and know that I am God.”