Yesterday morning I started my day in a brand new hotel. It had just opened up, and they were obviously still working out some of the kinks. The construction crew was still putting the finishing touches on the exterior of the property, and inside, workers were being trained.
Guests seemed to be practicing patience with some minor inconveniences that come with a “new” anything. Business travelers grow accustomed to such things, they are part of life on the road. So, if the front desk is a bit unorganized, or the wait staff in the restaurant seems confused, we have faith that by the time we return for our next stay, things will be better.
There was, however, one thing that I and my traveling peers could not abide. It was a thing that sent shock waves of panic and horror through our very souls. A question that resounded throughout the morning…
WHERE’S THE COFFEE???
You see, any regular customer at this hotel chain will tell you that a complimentary coffee station is part of every lobby. Neatly stacked paper cups with cardboard rings, sweeteners, and creamers. Even a variety of teas for the heathen among us who haven’t yet discovered the wonder that is coffee. Regular, Decaf, and Hot Water… a carafe for each.
It’s a coffee station people. We’re business travelers people. If you need to charge an extra five bucks for my room, so be it. My company will pay for it. Just don’t mess with my COFFEE!!!
Shoot, I’m not even sure how I wrote yesterday’s blog. Did I write? Was I functioning? By some miracle I did write, I was functional. Praise the Lord, I’m in Wichita this morning. These people know how to do coffee. In fact, you’ll have to excuse me while I get another cup.
Ok, I’m back. What were we talking about? Oh yeah, faith.
So, as I sat writing, I heard one guest after another voice their concern over the missing coffee station. The poor young lady at the front desk was politely responding to each complaint by saying that management was trying to address the situation. When my turn came to check out, rather than piling on, I simply said I’d heard that management would be addressing it, and if she was keeping count of guests who favored a coffee station, she could add me to the list.
Yesterday’s coffee crisis reminded me of a couple of important things. First, it was good to see that recovering addicts are not the only ones who freak out over coffee! If there were a thirteenth tradition in Narcotics Anonymous, it would address coffee at meetings. It is, after all, the true life-blood of our fellowship!
Yesterday reminded me that everyone struggles with the tendency to have expectations that can lead to resentments. It’s not just addicts who struggle in this area. In fact, we have a leg up on the rest of the world because we get to work steps to get past our resentments! The rest of you poor souls will have to wallow in your deep-seated coffee resentments.
The other thing I was reminded of was the serious nature of faith, and in what I choose to place it. For example, placing my faith in my morning coffee to magically make my day better is not very wise. After all, as I learned yesterday, coffee may not always be there. Even if there is a coffee station, the carafe with regular may run dry. Then what’ll I do, drink decaf? I think not!
The same is true of people. Eventually, things will come up. Problems will arise. Even the world’s best sponsor (is there such a thing?) will be unavailable, not able to answer the phone.
Same with close friends in recovery. We will let each other down. It’s inevitable. In fact, I would argue that being occasionally unavailable is a good thing. After all, we are supposed to be valuable members of society, so if all I do is sit by the phone, waiting for that next phone call from a fellow recovering addict, what value am I bringing to the world in general?
So then, in what do I place my faith? Who do I call when my back is against the wall and nobody answers my phone call? Who will be there for me when there’s no coffee station???
My Higher Power, that’s Who. God is always there. Always available. Always willing to take my calls. God has a coffee station that is well stocked. God’s regular coffee never runs dry.
Faith is a wonderful thing, but I have to remember to place it in the proper places. In the end, I have also come to place faith in our fellowship. I believe that God can be found at the core of NA and the recovery process. Individuals within the fellowship will disappoint me, but I need to remember that no one person is NA. It is so much bigger than me or anyone else.
I have faith in the steps, and the spiritual principles of NA. I know that as I live them out in my life, addiction loses its grip on my spirit.
I even have faith in the future, knowing that as I apply these principles to all my affairs, life will continue to be full of joy that cannot be taken from me. Not even if the coffee station is missing.
Have a remarkable day!