Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Steep a little longer

I've been a tea drinker for quite a while now. But I think my strong connection with a good cup of strong tea came when my brother came home from college with a box of tea called "Earl Grey". When I smelled the fragrant tea brewing, I first thought it smelled like "Fruit Loops" Cereal. I was drawn to the sweet smell of the tea, sat down to conversation with my older brother - who I'd been missing, and became attached to a spot of tea whenever I needed a reminder of sweetness and comfort in life.

Sitting down to a cup of tea is a time for refreshment and rest that has become something of a habit. Since my brother introduced me to a tea beyond Lipton all those years ago, I've acquired a taste for many different kinds of tea: black tea, herbal tea, Oolong tea, and a recent find - Darjeeling. As I opened a new box of tea recently, I noticed the very specific directions on how to brew this tasty blend.

1. Pour boiling water (as pure as possible) over one tea bag in a cup.
2. Immerse tea bag for 1 minute (standard), 2 minutes (strong), 3 minutes (with milk.)
3. Remove tea bag after making tea. As much as I love a good cup of tea,

I wondered if these directions really were all that necessary. But then again, maybe a good cup of tea is worth the extra attention and effort. I'd be the first one to admit that well-steeped tea is what I prefer. In my opinion, tea should steep a little longer, be a little stronger, and have a taste that is distinctive. All this thought about making tea that is properly steeped, made me ponder if faith formation may have something in common with brewing tea. Just like tea brewing - faith needs to have space, time, and resources to become strong and distinctive as well.

Deuteronomy 11: 18-19 reminds us of the importance of taking time to steep our lives in the richness of scripture, as well as passing its message on to our children. "18 You shall put these words of mine in your heart and soul, and you shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and fix them as an emblem on your forehead. 19 Teach them to your children, talking about them when you are at home and when you are away, when you lie down and when you rise."

According to Deuteronomy, God's word is and every day, wherever you go, whatever you do companion. Steeping in God's word is a way to build a strong and distinctive faith for people of all ages. So if you are looking to grow in your faith consider taking advice from the back of the tea packet and allow yourself some time to pause and sit with God's word, soak in the wisdom and step back into life with a refreshment that last much longer than the next tea time.

No comments: