hot tea

Resolution #1: Drink More Hot Tea.

IMG_6688So here is the thing about hot tea.  It takes a while.  First, you have to boil the water.  Then, allow the tea to steep.  There is a ritual to the process.

Hot tea isn’t designed to be guzzled.  Gulping mouthfuls could pose an actual hazard to your health.   Just the act of preparing a cup of tea for yourself is a statement of intent.  I am investing 5 minutes in my own pleasure.  

I need that.

For me, drinking hot tea is an investment in my own personhood.  Every time I brew a cup, I am reminding myself that I, too, am a human to be taken care of.  I spend so much of my day in the service of others.  Spooning baby food into hungry mouths, wiping noses, racing to daycare, to work, to the store… Most of the time taking care of myself falls to the bottom of the list of urgent concerns.  So, when I fill my kettle, I am taking a moment to remind myself that I matter.  That investing in my own comfort isn’t wrong, but instead, can be an act of discipleship.  For I, too, am a person God dearly loves.  My feet, too, would be cleansed by our Savior.  He cares about me, not just those in my care.  And therefore, I should too.

The tea kettle also reminds me that not everything is a race.  It’s ok to stop and take a breath.  In fact, the world will not fall apart because you are choosing to alter your harried pace.  Moments when we choose to break the thought pattern of hurry are essential.  It not only reminds us that we aren’t in control, but it also acknowledges the One who is. I can grind my teeth at a redlight, drum my fingers on the steering wheel and curse the city manager who CLEARLY HAS NO IDEA HOW TO TIME STOPLIGHTS (and I do), or I can take that moment to stop the insanity.  Breathe deeply.  Notice the world around me, engage with the children in my backseat.

As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, ‘Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!’ ‘Martha, Martha,’ the Lord answered, ‘you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.
Luke 10:38-42

I spend so much of my life in Martha mode.  Intending to spend time at the Lord’s feet, but knowing the practical things that need to get done.  In my mind, these things must be done first, before I am free to rest.  And it’s true.  People need to be fed.  Things need to be cleaned.  I need to pick my kids up from school and to go to work.  But if I wait to sit at God’s feet until all those tasks are finished, I will never get there.  I need moments where I choose to remind myself that God is in control and I am not, that my time and my schedule and my mental to do list is not the most important thing.  Drinking tea has become a daily metaphor of that to me- reminding me to be a Mary, not a Martha.

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