Monday, October 19, 2015

Refillable Nespresso Capsules and the Learning Curve

Several years ago, a fellow physician and I were drinking a cup of coffee between patients. The coffee was not as delicious as I'd prefer and he said, "I should bring some of my coffee." 

"What's different about your coffee?"

"I roast the beans myself."

Never one to let someone else know how to do something interesting without learning it myself, I asked for full details. It wasn't rocket science and, before long, I was an amateur coffee roaster, too.

Over the years, I've become very particular about coffee.

When Ryan and I went to the Bahamas to visit my cousin, Christy, our hotel included a Nespresso expresso machine in our room. Fabulous coffee. Eventually, I bought a Nespresso of my own. The only problem with the Nespresso (besides the cost of the capsules) was that I couldn't use my own coffee beans.
Recently, I saw some empty pods for another coffee maker. Do they have those for Nespresso? I wondered. It turns out they do. The reviews were not encouraging, but there was one review that gave me hope. "There's a definite learning curve," it said, and gave suggestions for using the empty capsules. I ordered a set.

The reviewer was right. There is a learning curve. I've read the instructions several times, adjusted the grind and the pack of the coffee. Tried again. And again.

This morning, I popped the newly filled coffee capsule in the machine, set it for a short expresso, and watched with delight as dark espresso dripped into my cup. I did it! 

The reviewer was right. There's a learning curve with the capsules. 

I've found the "learning curve" principle to be almost universally true with worthwhile projects, and no where more than in living the life of a disciple. 

If I'm not careful, I find that I do the things I don't want to do and don't do the things I do want to do. (Romans 7:14-25)

The apostle Paul had the same problem. There is a learning curve to this disciple business, and it takes more than "book learning", as my grandmother would say. 

We do no good for Jesus if we talk a great faith but do not live it. 

Is there a solution? Yes. It requires us to take every thought captive (2 Cor. 10:15) rather than let our minds run wild like a herd of mustangs. It requires focus, and our focus cannot be on ourselves, our children, or the stuff we want. Our focus must be on God. 

There's a key point about being a disciple that is often overlooked, and it's the key to everything in this Christian life we're living.

Disciples follow.

Just to be clear, disciples follow their master. We all follow something or someone, and the life we live, the choices we make reveal the one we follow. 

What does my life say about the One I follow? What does your life say about the One you follow?

If we are to be a disciple of Christ, we must follow Him. (Matt. 4:19) Not from a distance, but up close and personal. We must learn to think like Him. Talk like Him. Act like Him. There's a definite learning curve, but the closer we follow, the easier it becomes.

Where are you on the learning curve of discipleship? What can you do to move along the curve? 

If I had stopped at the first failed cup of Nespresso with my new refill capsules, I'd never have reached the stage of good espresso. It's the same way with discipleship. If we stop at the first failure, we'll never reach the stage of peace that comes with following close behind our Christ.

Are you struggling? Have you had a failure? (Either a private failure that only you and God know or a spectacular, public failure that everyone knows...) Receive the grace of God. (Romans 8:15) Accept the learning curve, but don't stay at the bottom of the curve. 

Press on. 

"Brethren, I do no regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus." Philippians 3:14-15 nasb

The most read post of the past week: Removing the Callus.

#learningcurve #presson #disciple #followHim #Nespresso