Stopping for Tea

by Marilyn Ehle

“Stop!� Samuel said to Saul “Let me tell you what the Lord said to me last night.� 1 Samuel 15:16

We found it by accident. After a brisk winter walk in a park north of New York City, we were ready for a hot cup of tea or coffee. After parking the car, we began walking toward the town center. And there it was—a cozy tea room with small tables, friendly wait staff and quietly conversing customers. The thick menu described hundreds of teas and several appetizing food items. With our selections finally made and the aromatic brews poured, we visibly relaxed. With a plaintive sigh, our daughter asked, “Why don’t I stop for this every day?� She is a high school teacher and her many responsibilities and relationships seem to fill every waking moment.

Time for a cup of tea—or coffee or hot chocolate—may not involve any beverage at all. The importance of the ritual involves stopping. For the follower of Jesus, stopping is crucial—stopping the whirl of activities, stopping the ever-present household or career responsibilities, stopping well-meant ministry. Just stopping. Stopping to hear and drink in the quiet voice of God.

We read that Jesus often left the crowds with their deep physical and spiritual needs to stop. He even stepped away from his disciples to whom He would soon entrust the Kingdom. We must do no less. When will you stop for your cup of tea today?

Lord, stopping seems so unproductive! I have been trained to believe that to stop means an interruption in moving forward toward success. Please continue to remind me that I will only hear “what the Lord said to me� if I stop.

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