Most of my friends were the same way, as are most guys that age today. Many of them prefer Mountain Dew or the new energy drinks, but I've always been a Coke man.
Two years ago today I was diagnosed with diabetes and was forced to quit the sugared version of Coke. I haven't had a regular Coke since. Fortunately, the geniuses at Coca-Cola labs have invented their Zero mix of artificial sweeteners, which is so much better than the saccharine or aspartame sweeteners I'd tried to like before.
Two weeks ago I was in the E.R. at 5 AM because my heart was dancing to the beat of a toddler let loose on the drums. It turned out I wasn't having a heart attack, but there was definitely some sort of arrhythmia happening. That's not surprising, considering both of my parents had a-fib problems.
I'm scheduled to follow up with my primary physician tomorrow and I suspect he'll advise me to continue what I already began after the ER scare. The day has finally arrived that I knew would eventually come.
I need to quit the caffeine.Just as my metabolism is not longer able to handle the sugar load of all those Cokes, now my heart is no longer able to handle the caffeine dump.
You'll notice the Coke in the picture above is of Caffeine Free CocaCola Zero. No sugar. No caffeine. Just the flavor and the fizz.
And yes, I can already hear some of my friends (I'm looking at you, Kerri) telling me I should quit the sodas altogether. That may come at some point.
At some point.
Meanwhile, I sit in church and at work and at every restaurant surrounded by people cheerfully imbibing their coffee and lattes and Cokes and Mt. Dew. Their hearts can process it just fine.
I have chosen the way of faithfulness; I have set my heart on your laws.When I turn my attention to meditating on the Word of God, the condition of my heart has a huge impact on how God's message is received.
Turn my heart toward your statutes and not toward selfish gain.
Though the arrogant have smeared me with lies, I keep your precepts with all my heart. Their hearts are callous and unfeeling,but I delight in your law.
Rulers persecute me without cause, but my heart trembles at your word.
If I've overloaded my mind and heart with the ideas and notions of the culture around me, the life-giving words of God don't affect my heart the way they should. If my heart is seeking the next new thing or hanging on for dear life to the way things used to be, the Word has less efficacy. If my heart is preoccupied with my personal opinions or politics or prejudices or presumptions, it won't be prepared to receive God's truth without alteration.
If I continue to overwork my heart with a continual chasing after pointless passions, there will come a day when a dose of God's Word no longer refreshes me but instead makes me uncomfortable and irritable.
Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. (Proverbs 4:23)