When I lived in England this past year I worked in a tea room located just off the busy high street of the city I lived in in Essex. My journey to work every day was about 30 minutes and was generally a brisk cold walk. Once through the glass doors of the tea room, I’d rub my hands together, don the burgundy apron, check my pockets for pen and pad, peak into the kitchen bidding a good morning to the chefs, and then look about the tea room to see if anyone needed serving. Who am I kidding… I also made a steamy Americano for myself to start the day! The tea room was fairly new so we were just starting to have “regulars” as the new-year rolled in.
There was this one pair of regulars that I’ll never forget – a father in his 80’s and daughter in her 60’s – who would come in precisely at 3:30pm every day for afternoon tea. Her skin was wrinkled in all the right spots and it glowed with a tan that spoke of many cherished moments in the sun. In her pink lipstick, short blonde curls and fur coat, she was a pleasure to watch. As we began to get a variety of cakes into the shop, she was delighted when we pulled out the maple walnut cake. Like clockwork, they would return every day for tea for two and a slice of that delicious maple walnut cake. Each.
“It’s my faaaaaavourite!” she would say with hands clasped together, smiling.
This was their regular time together. And somehow, even though they often stayed until closing time when we were washing the floors and nearly had to kick them out – the fact that we could count on them showing up was in a funny way…. comforting.
In England, I noticed the tradition of afternoon tea to be one of intentional relaxing, enjoyment, and where you literally push pause on the day. I rarely noticed people walking around in London with Starbucks IN hand or eating a sandwich (just us tourists do that!). No, they stop to enjoy it.
There is something built into that intentional “pause” that sometimes (well, quite frequently) us North Americans miss.
The Bible says in Matthew 11:28 (NLT) Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.”
And like clockwork, reliable and always there, Jesus is ready to refresh us in His presence. But are we intentionally pushing the pause button to do so?
I know that any time I feel stressed, overwhelmed, confused or just plain weary – if I go to Jesus I know I will always find hope. Comfort. Rest in His presence. Even if He doesn’t say a word and I feel like all there is is silence – that silence in waiting on Him is restful!
Why don’t you try it? Intentionally push the pause button and go find Jesus for a bit of rest.
Hey, why not find some cake too 😉