Saturday, 27 April 2013

Dead Leaves and Milk

Determined to do a lot of lesson planning, I thought I'd prepare myself with a good old cup of tea. I put the kettle on and got my mug ready by ceremoniously dropping the tea bag in. The water bubbled and the switch of the kettle clicked. I poured the steaming water in, waited until it was stained a rich amber colour and extracted the teabag. I got the bottle of milk out of the fridge, opened the lid and gradually poured. Then, what appeared to be a lump of cottage cheese and pineapple dropped into my mug, bobbed momentarily on the surface and sunk like a calving iceberg to the bottom of the brew. Disappointment and woe had fallen upon me. The milk was off; my tea was ruined; any hopes of a productive evening was lost.

Earl Grey FBOP-Wilson Ceylon Teas

Thinking back, however, it seems a little pathetic that my hopes of a productive evening rested on something like a nice cuppa. The problems is that we all have a tendency to do this. We put our hopes in things that have a capacity to let us down. I had decided that the only way I would get my planning done was if I had a hot infusion of dead leaves with milk. But how many of my thought processes, when dissected, look just like that? The only way I can be happy is if I find a better job. The only way I will feel good about myself is if I get that person to like me. The only way I will be healed of my pain and brokenness is if I find a partner who accepts me for who I am. The only way I will stop worrying is if I had more money. 

My youth group, as a Christmas present, bought me a mug. Now, mugs given as Christmas presents can reveal a lot about a person. If they've got pictures of cute dogs, they're probably not going to vote for cats in the eternal canine/feline debate. If it's in the shape of the TARDIS, there's a good chance of them liking Doctor Who. This mug reads, 'Where there is tea there is hope'. I love the mug (which I actually use as a pencil holder), but it concerns me a little bit. Is that what my youth group learnt about me? I put my hope in tea. 

1 Peter 3:15 tells us to 'always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.' If people asked me what is the answer to my hope, what am I going to answer? 'Dead leaves and milk.' I hope not.

David, in his Psalms, clearly has an answer. Psalm 71 exclaims, 
For you have been my hope, Sovereign Lord, my confidence since my youth.
The whole psalm praises God for continuously being a source of hope, refuge and strength. Rather than putting his hope in friends that will let him down, jobs that offer no real security or that next summer vacation that will be over before he knows it, David puts his hope in the creator of the universe.

Anyway, I'm off to pop the kettle on.

Quick Questions

  • How do you take your tea?
  • Where do you put your hope?

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