Articles no image

Published on August 1st, 2006 | by Alex and Brett Harris

Finding Truth On A Coffee Cup

Brett. Me. And Coffee.
Brett and I don’t drink coffee. This is not because we dislike it or because we don’t think other people should drink it. Not at all. Other people have more self-control. As for us, we’re wary of the money we’d spend if we made coffee a daily (or even weekly) habit.

TRIVIA: Alex and Brett went through three months of campaign work in Alabama without drinking any caffeine.

But despite our lack of coffee-drinking, Brett and I still like to frequent cafés for important meetings, brainstorming sessions, and coffeehouse evangelism. And every so often, when we feel the need for a change up in our ordinary work routine, we’ll pack up our satchels (complete with Bible, laptop, current book and yellow highlighter, pen and notebook) and drive to a nearby Starbucks, find a table, order an Odwalla, and settle in for an hour or two of reading, writing and conversation.

With Coffee Comes Truth (Sometimes)
Our readers who frequent Starbucks for the coffee should be familiar with its “The Way I See It” coffee cup series. Each cup comes complete with an often philosophically-flawed quotation from a particular writer, actor, musician, businessman or other “notable person.”

Once and a while, however, you will find relevant truth on a coffee cup. This quote by Brian Scudamore is one such example:

The Way I See It #70

“It’s difficult for people to get rid of junk.
They get attached to things and let them define who they are.
If there’s one thing I’ve learned in this business,
it’s that you are what you can’t let go of.”

– Brian Scudamore, founder and CEO of 1-800-GOT-JUNK?

Of course, Mr. Scudamore is talking about physical junk, “stuff” that people accumulate in their closets, attics, and garages that they just can’t get themselves to throw away. But his observation applies to more than broken karoake machines and Star Trek memorabilia. It also applies to the many little “things” we allow to take up space in our own lives that demand our time and attention, our energy, our money, or all three. They may seem small and inconsequential at first, but if we’re not careful, they begin to build up and crowd out more important things. They begin to define us.

What Can’t You Let Go Of?
What things are you allowing to define the way you live your life? Is it seeing all the hottest movies? Owning all the latest clothes and accessories? Watching television? Playing video games? A look at our generation shows that for many young people, it’s things just like that. For others it could be things like doing your hair, aimlessly surfing the web, listening to music, or daydreaming about a certain someone.

Maybe those examples don’t fit you. That’s a good thing. But let’s ask the question another way: How easily do you let go of things that should define you? You know, asking that question of myself brings deep conviction. How many times have I let an opportunity to share the gospel slip away? How often do I skip prayer and devotions and then spend my time on trivial things?

I Am A Christian
I am reminded of Hebrews 12:1 where it says, “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.”

Notice that not everything that hinders us is sinful. As rebelutionaries we have to be willing to throw off even the non-sinful “stuff” that slows us down. We don’t do it in order to be saved, we do it because we are saved. That’s what obedience means for Christians.

That is how we’re truly defined.


About the Author

are the co-founders of and co-authors of Do Hard Things and Start Here. They have a passion for God and for their generation. Their personal interests include politics, filmmaking, music, and basketball. They are both graduates of Patrick Henry College in Purcellville, Virginia.

Back to Top ↑