In Sweden it’s referred to as “fika”. It’s so significant there that it’s actually protected by law.
It’s a laid-back chat over coffee. A time to pause, refresh with friends, taking a break from routine.
It’s not a grab-and-go where you phone your coffee order into your local barista, pay on your phone app, drive through and pick it up. It’s not slurping coffee at your desk or over your computer.
It’s a twice-a-day chance to create an interlude in the schedule.
No gulping is necessary.
Americans aren’t used to a dedicated break time for the purpose of conversation and enjoyment of people with a hot beverage. Around the country, however, tea shoppes are opening, and taking a page from our British friends, afternoon tea is becoming popular here.
I’ve been working with these amazing women this past year, and wanting to express my appreciation of them, I took them to tea.
It wasn’t just showing up and having a cuppa. We had to make reservations in advance for their specified seatings.
It was well worth it.
Upon entering, we each chose a hat from a vintage hat tree to remind us of unhurried times, when face-to face conversations were the norm. No texting. Seated at a table where we could easily converse with one another, we were regaled with sweets and savories, as well as scones with clotted cream. Each of us chose our own tea. I chose Butterfly Lavender because it sounded magical.
We shared typical information that begins conversations, but we quickly went deeper and spoke of meaningful things. It’s been a challenging year to connect with COVID, so this felt like a sacred pause, a chance to breathe for a moment, and enjoy each others’ company without interruption.
I enjoyed the sense of “fika”, creating space with people I care about. We’re in a busy part of our year, but this was necessary.
Rushing is a way of life for me. Sitting still is close to impossible, especially if things need to be done.
Busyness is addictive.
We’ve elevated workaholism to a desirable level, honoring those who accomplish and produce more. That creates so much noise in our heads that it becomes difficult to turn it off. Quiet disappears, and even if we did find it, it feels uncomfortable.
Busyness leads to weariness. Weariness leads to an inability to sustain necessary relationships. Broken relationships lead to more work to fill up vacuums in our lives no longer held by people.
It’s a lose/lose situation.
Jesus never hurried. He took time to talk to people, to be present with those who needed Him, to bring the children to sit on His lap. The religious leaders were upset by His refusal to follow the letter of the law and their dedication to details.
Jesus followed the law of His Father. He saw people as more important than things.
When He was tired, He pulled away to be alone with His Father.
We do ourselves a disservice by filling up our time with activities that don’t satisfy us when what we long for is that pause. A holy pause.
And a chance for a cuppa.