America loves beer! Not long ago USA Today reported that the average amount of beer consumed per person per year in the United States is 22 gallons (or 235 bottles). Of course, that is an average. Some drink more, some less, and some not at all. I’m one of those teetotalers, but I read another article that convinced me that I ought to be knocking down some brew every day. The words came from Dr. Kirk B. Jones.
Dr. Jones brought me back to Mark 4, the story of Jesus calming the storm by merely speaking to it. More than that, he brought me to where Jesus was—in the back of the boat.
As evening came, Jesus said to his disciples, "Let’s cross to the other side of the lake." He was already in the boat, so they started out, leaving the crowds behind (although other boats followed). But soon a fierce storm arose. High waves began to break into the boat until it was nearly full of water. Jesus was sleeping at the back of the boat with his head on a cushion. Frantically they woke him up, shouting, “Teacher, don’t you even care that we are going to drown?” When he woke up, he rebuked the wind and said to the water, “Quiet down!” Suddenly the wind stopped, and there was a great calm. And he asked them, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still not have faith in me?” And they were filled with awe and said among themselves, “Who is this man, that even the wind and waves obey him?" (Mark 4:35-41 NLT)
Lately I’ve been wrestling with my pace. What kind of pace is right for my family and for me at this season in our lives? What Kirk Jones helped me realize is that more important than “pace” is “practice.” I need to regularly head to the “back of the boat” to be with Jesus and to find his peace and strength for the storms that rumble through my life. Jones said, “I have determined to schedule my times in the stern with the same purposefulness that I schedule ministerial responsibilities.”
So where does the BREW come into play? Jones says he starts every day “in the back of the boat” sipping his morning BREW:
Be still. "Be still and know that I am God." (Psalm 46:10 ESV)Receive God’s love. "...to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge." (Ephesians 3:17-19 ESV) Embrace God’s gift of personhood. "Then God said, 'Let us make man in our image.'" (Genesis 1:26 ESV) Welcome the day and its opportunities to offer and receive blessings. "This is the day that the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it." (Psalm 118:24 ESV)
As I read that, I realize that even teetotalers like me need a little BREW every day!
The article from US Today was for 2008. The Brewer's Almanac -- 2010, published by the Beer Institute shows the consumption is down slightly to 21.1 gallons. That's good news.