I think sipping was invented by tea.
Recently, I've been making tea from mint I planted in our very own garden. I drop a few of the dried leaves into the thermos or mug, pour in steaming hot water from the kettle, and add a little honey. After a few minutes, the flavour has diffused, and it's ready to drink.
It's still too hot to gulp down - what an unromantic word, gulp - so I wrap my hands around the warm mug and smell the fragrant steam. And slowly, I sip. Time seems to slow down. My eyes focus somewhere afar off as my thoughts transport themselves to more distant realms. I think of dear friends... Kristen, Nicole, Ervina, and others, who take great delight in a lovely cup of tea.
My tea is cooling steadily, but still I sip slowly. If I were to tip the cup and drain it all at once, the leaves would swoop into my mouth instead of staying at the bottom of the cup where they belong. I feel kinship with countless people, who, from ancient times and diverse cultures made and drank tea in much the same way as I have. Billions of people who have taken a moment to pause, cup in hand, to rest, to consider, to remember, to breathe a prayer of thankfulness for warmth and life. I'm grateful to be alive.
And I take another sip.
Thank You, Jesus.