Holy Routines: Teatime SanityBlog / Produced by The High Calling
Life is hectic.
You get home from work late, again, with just enough time to eat before getting the kids ready for bed. They argue over whose turn it is to take their shower first or who touched whose stuff. You get them past their fussing long enough for them to brush their teeth. They come out of their room for snacks or water or to brush their teeth again after a new snack. Your spouse checks over the last minute thing the kids forgot for school as they make one more random excuse to come out of their room. That’s when you do the final room check to make sure their lights are really off and they’re not under the covers with a flashlight playing games. A semblance of quiet settles over the house, and you have just enough energy left to carry yourself to the bedroom and collapse in a heap.
Or maybe that’s just me?
Technically, all of this is my holy routine. The Lord knows I call on his name often enough while trying to wrestle my sons to bed. To abuse the Psalmist, even though I have only two arrows to speak of, my quiver is full. Plus a wife. Plus a job and a writing career. Plus friends. Not to mention my outside interests, from teaching to volunteer work, a jumble of running here to there.
My alarm goes off at five thirty each morning, and I’m not due to arrive at work until nine. My wife and the boys won’t wake up until seven. For the next hour and a half, the house is mine.
I turn on only the kitchen light so as not to disturb my sleeping family and begin my own impromptu tea ceremony. I rifle through my cabinets in search of a package of English Breakfast. I was born in England but raised in America. Still, I cling to a few trappings of the culture. A piece of my identity. Filling my favorite Star Trek mug, I submerge a solitary tea bag into the cup of water. I close the cabinet doors, open the microwave, and jump at how loud the microwave beeps in the silence of early morning.
Two minutes to heat up the water.
The microwave oven drones as my cup spins on the glass tray. Another four-minute wait as I let the tea steep. I stand in the quiet of the kitchen. Only the gentle susurrus of water trickling in my son’s turtle tank disturbs, yet somehow adds to, the peace.
I deeply inhale the fragrance of the freshly brewed cup. Two teaspoons of sugar and a splash of milk later, I curl up on my couch. The warmth of the drink courses through me. I hear my own breathing. It’s a perfect moment of calm, the tranquility of a dreamer woken from deep slumber. Before my phone starts ringing, before the family wakes for the morning chaos of getting ready for school, before the pressures of the day job, I rest.
Sipping my tea, I begin to pray. Depending and leaning on God for peace and inspiration, sometimes I’ll read a bit of Scripture to get to that special mental place. I chat with God about my day, about my heart. I put pen to page, plumbing my heart for anything real. It’s all about quieting my heart and thoughts, tuning out the noise, and getting to a place of communion with the Holy Spirit. Where there was anxiety, peace replaces, and I can settle into the business of my day.
Life is hectic. And loud. The older I get, the more I cherish the quiet times, the peaceful times, the alone times. They are my getaway, my Sabbath, a carved out bit of the day. A cup of tea, the couch, a notepad, and a little bit of quiet, that’s all I need for a little bit of holy communion.
Life may be hectic, but it doesn’t always have to be.
We have asked some members of our community to share their holy routines. At first glance, these routines may not seem holy at all. However, in this series, Holy Routines, our writers extend an invitation to you to walk beside them in the actions and interactions and spaces that often seem ordinary but also usher them into the presence of God. We hope that spending a few moments in the holy routines of a few friends will inspire you to see and meet God in daily moments you may be tempted to rush through, or where you feel tempted to overlook the presence of the Holy Spirit. Perhaps this series will give you permission to savor the sacred in the ordinary moments of your day.
Featured image by Simply Darlene. Used with Permission. Source via Flickr.