I’ve got this friend who believes coffee is the answer to everything.
If you have a question, the answer is coffee. I’ll give you some examples:
Q: What’s the best beverage in the world? A: Coffee.
Q: What should I bring to the potluck? A: Coffee.
Q: What should I give my friend for her birthday? A: Coffee.
Q: Why should I get up in the morning? A: Coffee.
But this friend of mine, Josh is his name, doesn’t just believe in good coffee. He believes in a concept called fika. Fika is a Swedish word that doesn’t have an English equivalent. It means, in my terms, to drink coffee while lingering enjoyably with other humans. It means to drink coffee while laughing together. It means to drink coffee while having an authentic conversation, while lending an empathetic ear, while watching children run through the sprinkler, while swapping stories, while brainstorming great ideas, while singing songs. It means looking each other in the eye, hugging more and hating less, giving of yourself for the sake of others. It means honestly loving the people right in front of you. It means to use coffee as a mode of revolutionizing the world.
So, with fika, the questions can become a little more complex while the answer remains the same.
Q: How can I slow my life down, relish in it rather than frantically watch it slip through my fingers? A: Coffee
Q: How do you get a congregation to show up to church on time and stay, fellowshipping and encouraging one another long after the service is over? A: Coffee
Q: What’s the best way to love my neighbor? A: Coffee
Do you see what I mean? With fika at the helm, coffee really might be the answer we’re looking for.
Josh & his beautiful wife Stephanie believe in the concept of fika to an extent so great he dedicated his life’s work to it, starting FIKA, an artisanal coffee roasting business on north shore of Lake Superior. Since its inception, FIKA has been roasting small batches of sustainable coffee with precision and great care. Which means his beans are good, really good. And his brewing is even better. I had been a coffee-with-my-cream drinker until I met Josh. Now, I can drink it black, and what’s more, I can drink it black because I want to and not just because there’s no cream available.
But the fact that his coffee is leaps and acres better than any I’ve ever had is not really my point. And fika might not really be my point either, though its merits are worth considering. The bean quality and relational bent isn’t even the sole reason we drink FIKA every morning. Rather, we drink FIKA because we believe Josh is doing something amazing with his coffee and his dedication to the concept of fika. Josh didn’t set out to make his living roasting coffee because there was a niche to fill or because he was sick of Starbucks. Josh started FIKA because coffee is his love language. He started it because he had to, because we’re all given talents and it’s our duty to use them (Matthew 25:14-30). I know it may sound hokey but I truly believe that for Josh, coffee, fika and FIKA is an act of worship. Roasting, brewing, serving and sipping really good coffee is how he loves people. It’s how he lives for others and not for himself. It’s the lens by which he is able to see the eternal worth and beauty in each person he hands a cup of coffee to. It’s how he trusts God, how he comes to the Throne everyday and offers his passion as a pleasing sacrifice.
It’s how he encourages me to do the same.
So, for the sake of everything, drink some FIKA. It just might inspire you to hug your neighbor, prompt you to acknowledge a bit of yourself that’s gotten lost or give you the courage to love fully, each moment and always. Plus, you’ll be fully caffeinated which, in my experience, makes everything easier.