Scorched Chai and Boiling Words

Photo by A. McCormick

I love a good cup of Chai tea. There is something about warm almond milk mixed with black tea, cinnamon, clove, and cardamon that gets my morning started on the right foot.

Well, that is until I temporarily become distracted and my delicious concoction boils over, coating the stovetop. Have you ever tried to get scorched almond milk off a burner? Let me tell you it’s not as easy as you may think and don’t even get me started on the challenges of getting liquid out from under the stovetop. There are a lot of wires under there that probably shouldn’t be getting wet.

It happened to me again this week and I have to confess there is a little child inside me that is somewhat delighted by the force in which Chai erupts. A small volcano spewing almond goodness all over the stove, reminiscent of my 6th-grade science project. Well, that is until I come back to reality and acknowledge I have to clean it up. AGAIN!

As I was taking the stove apart, I was gently reminded that in the big scheme of things Chai can be wiped up. But some thoughts and words boil over and spew out of me that are a little harder to resolve.

This behavior mostly shows up when I’ve pushed myself beyond my physical limits, become overly tired, or perhaps I’ve just reached the end of my ability to be patient. Whatever the cause, I explode and the aftermath seeps into the hard wiring of my listener’s hearts. And even though I try to scrub away each angry careless thought or word that breaks hard-earned trust, the emotional damage has already been done. And here is where my immaturity surfaces, I sometimes blame them for taking my eyes off my emotional and physical state and allowing myself to erupt.

It’s crazy how we can justify our actions.

The Bible talks a lot about controlling our tongues. In the book of James, the author writes,

“A word out of your mouth may seem of no account, but it can accomplish nearly anything—or destroy it! It only takes a spark, remember, to set off a forest fire. A careless or wrongly placed word out of your mouth can do that. By our speech we can ruin the world, turn harmony to chaos, throw mud on a reputation, send the whole world up in smoke and go up in smoke with it, smoke right from the pit of hell.

James 3:5-6 (The Message)

I wonder if you’ve ever become distracted, allowed your emotions to spew over, or taken your eyes off the condition of your heart. Believe me, it is easy to do.

But there is a solution.

Just like heating a pot of Chai tea, we must be vigilant, watchful, and ready to act when we see the liquid starting to form tiny bubbles around the edge of the pot. We can notice when our bodies are fatigued, our minds are tired, and our hearts are fretting and ready to boil over. We can admit that we have limitations. We can accept we aren’t Super Women. We don’t have to fan the flames causing the situation to smoke. We can choose to turn off the heat.

 As I closed the stovetop and wrung out the sponge for the final time, I was encouraged by the shiny clean range surface. Perhaps God views my eruptions like scorched Chai, although they leave a mess, he faithfully cleans them up and allows me to learn and grow from each one. I am hoping that in the future I can stay focused on my pot of bubbling Chai tea but even more than that, I pray that I can stay vigil over my words, my heart, and God’s amazing grace.

Be Blessed His BeLOVED,

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