Sunday, July 22, 2007

Sunday Afternoon Tea

Ponder the path of your feet, And let all your ways be established.
Proverbs 4:26
New King James Version

Make level the path of thy feet, And let all thy ways be established.
Proverbs 4:26
American Standard Version

I sat at my computer last night, staring at the above verse for...well...too long. I have been thinking of it for weeks now and I truly wanted to write my thoughts for Tea Time this Sunday afternoon.

The words wouldn't come. My thoughts were scrambled as if a puzzle waiting to be put together or perhaps a foreign language which needed translated. I just could not...get it. I knew the meaning of this verse least to me... was there ...somewhere. So I turned my computer off and went back to the book I was reading.

I needed a teacher and this morning, I had one...all the way from Moscow. My pastor's son and his family work and minister in that city (which, to me, requires a great deal of grace ...and courage). He taught about living our daily lives to reflect Truth...what we believe as Christians. That whole thing about living Monday through Saturday what we profess on Sunday.

He talked about living only in this moment, not in the past (whether the good or bad memories) ...not in the future (not to worry...for each day has enough evil therein...look it's in the Word). And then...I realized what that verse was saying to me. Live life on's that whole idea I've been writing about for nearly a year now.

The idea of pondering our path...where our feet are taking us. Thinking through our days ahead of time rather than drifting through our life. Thinking about...what is Truth ...who is Truth? How do we, as Christians, live life because His Word is at the center of all we do? If we are not living life differently than those who do not believe in Him ...why? Yes, pondering our path.

I'd love to have a room filled with students and teachers, as has been done in L'Abri for years. We would have the tea tray set with sandwiches, sweets, and both hot and iced teas. The room would be full of cushy chairs, sofas that sink in the middle from years of use, perhaps a couple of rocking chairs, and room to sit on the floor for those young enough to get up easily. :)

We could discuss the above verse in various translations. Some eating quite daintily with small bites, wiping crumbs off of their face before talking. Others (men in particular), throwing in one morsel of food after another, gulping it down with tea, and perhaps choking while throwing out their opinion before reaching for another item on the tray.

Just what does it mean...ponder the path of your feet? I've been uh ...pondering this ...(and if you have read this blog long, you know I ponder quite often) ...ever since I came across it a few weeks ago. How does one...ponder the path of their feet? If we were truly together, face to face, we could hear each opinion. All we can do, given the limitations of time and space, is to be thankful for this ability to communicate and do the best we can. How do we ponder the path of our feet?

We get quiet before Him and read ...His Word, ...devotionals, ...words by those who have walked the path before us and gained wisdom, the words of teachers and saints and sinners redeemed. When possible, we listen to same ...and learn ...and apply. For learning without application is not truly learning.

We talk to Him ...and listen.

We write words and ideas, make lists, talk to family and friends ...we ponder the path of our feet. Where are we going? Where have we gone? Are we on the right path or have we swayed, been tempted to detour when faith lacked and fear overcame? What do we have to do now to end up at that place He wants us?

We do our best to follow His path. We make our plans. Then we set them at the Cross and turn them over. We will not always understand the journey on which He has led us. We may be tempted to think we took the wrong direction for the road has turned stormy ...or filled with dryness and drought. There are those days when the sun shines, the breeze feels cool on our face, and the world is filled with good songs and aromas ...glimpses of future glory.

We ponder the path of our feet to a Person. For we do not follow an idea. We do not follow an idol made of wood or clay. We follow a Person, in whose image we are created ...relationship. We are never, never, ever alone on the path. For when we are following His ways, our feet will always lead us to Him.

And ...each day we acknowledge Him, lean on Him, trust Him, absorb His Truth ...and know He is directing our path. Our feet may be hurting for the path has been long and hard, we may have stumbled over the rocky places. However, we have pondered their path which leads us to that day when all tears shall be dried ...all will be perfect ...and pain shall be no more.


Anonymous said...

Sigh....Brenda, you do have a way with words. Excellent post for a Sunday afternoon.
Dh and I will be pondering the path of our feet as we take a drive this afternoon with our weekly Starbucks. Present trials, plans for the's all there to be pondered, isn't it?
love ya,

Brenda@CoffeeTeaBooks said...

I hope I didn't confuse anyone with the changes I had to make (about thirty minutes worth). The rss feeds may have gone crazy.

I had, shall we say ...font challenges?

Hmmm, Joanna ...I think Starbucks would be a lovely place to ponder.

Anonymous said...

Your words are so true. Also I have learned that as we ponder we ask God what HIS will and His call is for our lives. Not asking him to serve US in what WE do. Like, "God help me get this promotion!" Instead asking what direction HE is calling me. I hope I made sense.

(((((HUGS))))) sandi said...

I must sigh in agreement~you surely do have a way with words! I SO needed this today! It seems I need to learn to ponder, as you do. Sitting quietly and listening is NOT my strong suite! (((((HUGS))))) sandi

Lallee said...

Brenda, your post made me drag out the big books for some word study. I love to 'dig in' that way. The verse makes more sense to me with the word 'ponder' rather than 'make straight.' His Word--the lamp to our feet. You said it so eloquently. An interesting contrasting verse was Prov. 5:6 referring to the prostitute--how not to walk the path. "She does not ponder the path of life; Her ways are unstable, she does not know it." My paths can't be straight and made level if I don't let His light shine on it to show me the way. May I be guided in the way of His righteousness!!! Thank you for the tea and inspiration!

Tealady Tammy said...

oh Brenda,
YOu so hit what has been on my heart lately and I am still pondering. I would love to sit down with tea and discuss just like you said...thank you for your words. What a blessings

Leslie said...

Thank you Brenda, for your insight. I had my husband read this as he has many burdens & decisions to make now. We have always lived purposefully since our marriage (10 years ago). Yes, by following the Master's lead we have lost many relationships with family & other believers. I am thankful for the reminder that it will be worth it all.

Elizabeth B said...

That was a good reminder for me right now.

However, the coffee, not so much. I'm now allergic to coffee and can only tolerate a little bit once a week. Last week I had coffee 3 days in a row, the 3rd day wasn't so good.

Well, I'll try not to be envious. You enjoy the coffee for me, I'll enjoy the little bit of cookies I can eat for you. (Although I don't have cookies often, they're hard to make, I'm allergic to eggs, dairy, and soy. I have to buy special chips, use coconut oil, and add extra leavening. Sometimes they come out better than others, I'm still working on it.)

Anonymous said...

Thank you Brenda,
My husband and I sat yesterday afternoon "pondering" together what direction this season of life was taking us and where did we want it to go.
I am always so blessed when you write about living on purpose...
Blessings to you!

Anonymous said...

Hello- I came across this post looking for the difference between afternoon tea and high tea. I am a high school English teacher, wife, mother of three (all under 10), and, most importantly, a daughter of the King.
I am envisioning a "language arts cafe" at school to ponder these very questions (while still teaching the state-mandated curriculum. Teaching has opened so many doors to share the gospel in ways that I never imagined. My latest idea is to have an afternoon tea where teachers can gather, reflect on the day, and make plans for the next...