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The spot for the good news, the good word, the quick reports of the many, many wonderful news items I hear all the time and want to share with the rest of you. Expect to find the good news when you come to check out "what’s the good word?"

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


Today is the day I get the key and take possession of my new house. This likely won’t happen until sometime this afternoon, no matter how anxiously certain family members are waiting with paintbrush in hand. I realize that the emotion I’m feeling is a certain anxiety to hurry up and do what needs doing before that call comes in. In my mind I find that little phrase racing around round and round: better hurry up and get that blog posted!

But truly I know better. It’s one of those life lessons I’ve already learned, but often need to learn again. It’s the lesson of “You’re late; you must take tea.”

A few years back I was part of an Encounter (World Religions) winter term event for a class of Graceland students. In fact it was the January of the Big Snow in Toronto and we were struggling with the challenges of bad weather, accumulated snow drifts from several major storms, a bus driver unfamiliar with routes to this temple and that gurdwara and the “interesting” personality quirks of thirty or so college students operating on too little sleep and too close quarters.

We were scheduled for the Sikh visit at 3 pm but it had been snowing for hours and hours, literally days. We crowded onto our bus and embarked through the beginning of what should have been “rush hour” but nothing was rushing and the hour stretched into two. We were very late when we finally arrived to be greeted by Jasbir, a host who was to become a dear friend.

“You are late. Come downstairs for tea.” Oh no, we insisted. We’ve already caused you so much inconvenience; we’ll just begin our tour. Of course we were frazzled and hot and had wet feet from trudging through drifts to enter the gurdwara. Nerves were frayed. Students were unhappy. Leaders were frustrated and trying to figure out how to get back on schedule and keep the emotions in check.

“You are late. You must take tea.” Finally our leader relented and we retired to take the refreshments that had been prepared for us. We sat down and sipped the delicious chai tea and sweet treats and felt the anxiety melt away. Muscles untightened. Faces relaxed. Words became calmer and kinder. The visit extended into evening, with much sharing, more food, some amazing spiritual connections, many lessons learned.

But by far the most important and most lasting lesson was the one that has become an automatic response in our workplace when things are beginning to get too rushed and we get to feeling harried:

“We’re running late; better stop for tea.”

Posted by Marion


  1. Was this the same Encounter where you taught a young lady to make a proper pot of tea -- not straight from the hot-water tap?

    There's a lesson in hurrying there, too.

  2. Indeed it was. Then we had to find a proper kettle and tea pot to take back to her residence. Fortunately Chinatown was on the itinerary :-)


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