“All I need is coffee and Jesus.” It’s a popular phrase on mugs, T-shirts and Instagram. It’s a phrase heard often on campus in different forms. “I spend all my Bean Bucks on Starbucks.” “Coffee is life.”
But with Lent, a season of sacrifice, right around the corner, we must ask ourselves whether or not we can actually survive without coffee.
Now, coffee drinkers among college students come in a variety of styles. “Basic” coffee drinkers are happy with a Starbucks caramel Frappuccino as a treat. Coffee connoisseurs know how to make the perfect espresso from Costa Rican beans. And then there are those who depend on coffee to get them through the day and put coffee on the same level as Jesus.
People in the U.S. spend $40 billion each year on coffee, according to Harvard University.
Kendra Knudsen, a coordinator with the UCLA Mind Well initiative, said in the Huffington Post “There’s a weird pride in certain students when they pull all-nighters.”
We can’t deny that college is hard work and there are times when students may need to stay up all night and depend on coffee to get through the day. But most of the time, we don’t need more coffee.
The average latte costs $3-5. If you buy four lattes a week, you would spend an average $60 on coffee each month. That’s enough money to support two children in developing countries through Compassion International, which needs about $30 per month to support one child.
This is the difference you could make if you gave up coffee for just one month.
Traditionally, Lent is the 40 days before Easter Sunday in which Catholics and many Protestants fast from certain things as a form of worship.
Would you consider giving up coffee? You don’t need it. It’s not life. It’s not on the same level as Jesus. And if you gave it up for just 40 days, you could help something greater than yourself.
You may find that you could turn sacrificing this drink into a lifestyle of giving. If you find that you do need coffee to live, well, you may have a bigger problem on your hands.
Jesus didn’t tell us to do Lent, but he did tell us to take care of orphans and widows.