Several months have passed since I last wrote about tea. I am amazed that a simple cup of tea could prompt so many spiritual comparisons. The early blogs traced a new experience of tea prompted by a Father’s Day gift and subsequent research on the Internet. I eventually purchased a special double walled glass designed for brewing tea, and a tea thermometer in an effort to perfect the brewing process, and in the constant search for an even better cup of tea.
The only problem is that making a really good cup of tea that leaves me thirsty for more takes time and effort. There is an element of messing around that does not occur if tea is brewed by just dropping a tea bag into a pot or even a mug and adding boiling water. There are days when I no longer use my special brewing mug and I just get by with boring old tea bags. They are better than nothing and the tea still tastes OK. It just isn’t as good.
Yesterday I opened a new packet of Darjeeling from the Tea House where the original gift was bought. I used my brewing glass. As I drank I knew that the extra effort was worth it. I had three cups of Darjeeling yesterday and have consumed one today already. I am about to make another. But why do I sometimes accept second best?
The choice of tea and the brewing process reflects the spiritual dilemma faced by disciples of Jesus. The challenge is a daily one. At what time should I set the alarm clock? Will I rise early or late? How much time will I give to God? Is it OK to skip through a short Bible reading or some notes? How long should I spend in prayer? Even if a rushed quiet time at the start of the day is perceived as better than nothing, it isn’t as good as spending quality time in God’s presence. I know that I need to stop and look more deeply into His Word. I need to wait before Him, and I need to listen to His voice. If I want my life to be led by Him then I have to drink deeply of the living water. Accepting second best is not sufficient. I want more of Him.
When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, “Will you give me a drink?” (His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.) The Samaritan woman said to him, “You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?” (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.) Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.”
“Sir,” the woman said, “you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can you get this living water? Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did also his sons and his livestock?” Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” John 4:7-14 (NIV)