Oats 'n' Beans

MY FRESHMAN YEAR OF COLLEGE was at a Baptist university in Oklahoma. I won’t mention the name of it because my son teaches there now, and I wouldn’t want to embarrass him or the school. As a PK (preacher’s kid), I might have had a bag or two of wild oats to sew, and the freedom of being away at college seemed to be fallow ground. Thankfully though, my choices didn’t result in excommunication, disownment, shunning, or arrest.

Well, as it turns out, there are appartently a few oats left in my bag. I sowed a few this morning.

As I’ve mentioned before, I grew up in a Southern Baptist tradition. And while at times it seemed that fun in any form was frowned upon, I value those times. If the old axiom, “Boys will be boys,” is true, then it is also true that Baptist Boys will be too.

One of my first nights at the Baptist university, I heard a student come in to the dorm late one night singing at the top of his lungs, “I was sinking deep in sin. Wheeeee!” It dawned on me: you get a bunch of preacher’s kids, deacon’s kids, and missionary’s kids together, you might just have a bumper wild oat crop.

While the “sins” of my 60s are less daring and thrilling than those in the 60s, they are there nonetheless. Thankfully they are still forgiven—at least by God; hopefully also by those who have been hurt by my selfishness.

So today’s oats were sewn over a cup of coffee. Starbucks Coffee. I know, I know. Here’s the deal though: I will not let paranoid, fundamentalists shame me for drinking the only adult beverage I can enjoy guilt free.

Coffee is too important to American Christianity to slow its flow in any way. You want to see a church split and a pastor fired, try removing the coffee pot from the fellowship hall. You know that glimpse we get in the Bible of Jesus at the wedding feast? The only thing that would make Baptists love that story more is if Jesus had turned the water into a hot, never-ending urn of Folger’s coffee.

So, call me a rebel if you must, but I will dring deep from my dark roast Starbucks. I will drink it from a white cup or I will dring it from a red cup. I will drink it black and I will drink it up. I will not feel guilt, I will not feel shame, I will not boycot the Starbucks name. I totally agree it cost to much, but I don’t spend much on treats and such. So here’s to you my christian friend. Let’s raise our red cups, amen? Amen!