“Taste and see that the Lord is good,” ~ Psalm 34:8
I think I was about 5 years old the first time I tried coffee. I was at my Granddaddy’s house. We were having a big family breakfast, and all the grownups were drinking coffee. Wanting to be a grownup myself, I asked if I could have some. Surprisingly the answer was yes. I poured some coffee in my cup, then added a little cream and sugar on the top. It tasted horrible. The grownups all laughed in that knowing grownup kind of way. And I’ll never forget what happened next.
Somebody said: “It’s ok. Coffee is an acquired taste.”
Over time, I learned. The next time I had the chance to try coffee, I put just a little bit of coffee in there, along with a bunch of cream and a bunch of sugar. It didn’t taste great, but it was better. As I grew a little older I began putting less cream and sugar in there. And somewhere along the way I switched to artificial sweeteners. But my coffee habit stayed pretty much the same for a couple of decades.
Then our second daughter was born. Now to be fair, it wasn’t her, it was me. She was born right around the time our Revelation album came out. We played a bunch of promo shows on the West Coast, and I got used to the time change. I came home and wanted to do nothing but sleep until noon. My infant daughter, on the other hand, really loved being up in the morning. Come to think of it, she really loved being up all the time. So I responded like any new dad. I consumed large amounts of caffeine.
The goal of my coffee drinking now became one of survival. Taste was sacrificed in the name of sheer volume. This was before the Keurig days, so I wasn’t counting my coffee drinking by the cup. It was more by the pot. I didn’t have time to fool with the cream and sweeteners and what not. I wanted it straight. The stronger the better. After doing this a few months, I realized I actually liked black coffee.
It only took 30 years, but I had acquired a taste for coffee.
It’s funny the amount of effort we’ll put into something we don’t like. Tobacco, alcohol, and caffeine all taste pretty much awful the first time. It’s as if our bodies know better. But we go ahead and push past it until we like it.
How many vices in our lives seem to require this strange phenomenon called “an acquired taste”? How many meaningless things will we suspend our belief in the name of going along with the crowd? Doesn’t it seem kind of pointless?
Why can’t we do that with things that are good for us?
If we’re going to acquire a taste for something, why not let it be something beneficial to ourselves? To others?
How different would your life be if you acquired a taste for exercise? For healthy foods?
I’ll go you one better:
How different would the world be if you acquired a taste for the things of God?
I’ve got a little challenge for you. Read your Bible for the next 21 days. Now this isn’t a go big or go home kind of thing. I’m not asking you to sit down and read the whole thing in one sitting. I’m asking you to approach it as starting a habit. Take it easy at first.
Start small. Start with the book of John. Read one chapter a day. And suspend your judgement of the process. Pray and ask God to give you a desire for his word.
At the end of 21 days, I guarantee you will be a different person than you are today.
They say that 21 days makes a habit. Coincidentally, there are 21 chapters in the Book of John. What have you got to lose?
Let’s do this. Pick your favorite Bible translation and start reading the book of John today. Only one chapter. Share your thoughts on the experience in the comments below!
(NOTE: To be fair, I really do not think reading the Bible is an acquired taste. It is awesome. It is life-changing. But it is just so easy to put other things first!)