Sometimes we think we have life handled, but often we really aren’t handling anything. In this excerpt from Beth Moore’s talk at Women’s Leadership Forum in 2017, Beth uses an illustration involving her passion for coffee to explain how we’re really not holding onto anything by ourselves at all.
The entire video is above, and the complete transcript is below.
A couple of days ago such an odd thing happened to me. I had gotten up for my quiet time. I like to get up while it’s still dark outside. I love that. I love that feeling. There’s something about there being no light anywhere outside. No other distraction. I can just be right in it, right here. And the only light is just the light over my head and the light of the scriptures. I absolutely love that.
I’m a very, very serious coffee drinker. I’m very, very intense about my coffee. I think about my coffee when I go bed at night. I look forward to it. Sometimes when I know I’ve got a short night ahead, I don’t think to myself, “Man, I only have five hours of sleep.” How I make myself feel better is, “In five hours, you’re drinking coffee.” I mean, like, short night means it won’t be long. It will not be long.
The first thing I do is I always go and turn on my coffee maker. Then I hit the floor, get started in prayer. Then I make it to my table and then Jesus and I start doing the thing that we do.
But that particular morning, I had just gotten in the mood for some French press. Now I have three different coffee makers. And I had decided, I want some French press this morning.
I don’t know if you know how it works. But that means that you boil the water. So I have a kettle, I’m boiling the water. And then my particular French press maker is a stainless steel, thermal one. So what you do is this: you put in the amount of coffee you’re going to need and if you’re me, then you put in twice that much. You put it in the bottom of it, then when that water boils you pour that boiling water into that, into that thermos or into that French press. And then you stir it up really, really good. And then you set the top of the French press, you bring it down just to the top of the water and you hold it right there. And you set it there. Then you put your timer on four minutes. And so then you’re waiting. Your timer goes off in four minutes and then you push it down, so it’s pushing down those coffee grounds to the bottom and then you have like, ohhhh. Like liquid gold. Like liquid gold.
Then you’re letting it then all go to the bottom where the liquid is all on top. And then you pour it. So I’m only four minutes out from boiling. And understand, I’m only four minutes out from boiling not having had it sit out in room temperature, but it is in a thermal pot.
So four minutes from boiling, I pour myself a cup of coffee. I’m real, real weird about my coffee cup. You know, I’m just obsessive compulsive about almost everything. So I get this all ready to go and I pour my cup of coffee. I sit it down. And I pick it up. I’m at a table like this at my kitchen bar like this. I’m in my pajamas and I pick it up like this. And when I do the entire cup falls into my lap and every bit of that hot coffee goes all over me.
Here’s what I need you to understand, this is the cup, right here. I am still holding the handle in my hand. It was so shocking, I could not get my mind to wrap around what had just happened. I’m still holding the handle. The cup is on my lap and it has spilled all over me. I mean, it’s spilled on those pages. It splashes up on my Bible. And all I can do is sit because I can’t let go of the handle. I don’t know why. I can’t let it go. I just keep going, “Maaaaahh. Agghh. Aaaaahh.” All manner of animal sound. It was the most shocking thing.
And I thought to myself, isn’t this us? We’re just going like, “I can handle it”, but there ain’t nothing on the other side of the handle. We think we’re handlin’ our family. We’re handlin’ it. I’m handlin’ it. I’m the one. I’m the handler. I got this handled. Look to me. I can handle it.
What we don’t know is, there ain’t nothing there. There ain’t nothing there.
We’re going to have handle on all this. We’ve got a handle on our marriage. We’re going to have a handle on all of it. We’ve got a handle on our friendships. We’ve got a handle on our church. No we don’t. There ain’t nothing there. Because we ain’t handlin’ nothing. The only way that we know that we think we are, until that thing drops on our lap and spills hot coffee all over us. Then it’s like, all you got left is a tiny, tiny, tiny, little handle. That’s it. That’s it. What are we going to do with that?
Want more from Beth Moore? Watch her other LifeWay Voices post.