There is a movement all over the world called “Slow”. The dream behind it is to encourage people to take it easy, to slow down their crazy busy lifestyles and start living life. When it comes to “slow food”, this movement is all about good, hearty, delicious dishes prepared with patience and love.
To eat is not just to get your tummy full.
No it’s an expression of our authentic humanness.
To eat is to celebrate life. To eat is to invite friends over. To eat is to entertain the senses. To eat is to love.
There is a beautiful story of two sisters who invited Jesus and his friends over for dinner. The one was all over the place preparing the food, running up and down, counting the guests, setting the table and working herself into a frenzy. All the while the other one sat at the Jesus’ feet listening to all his stories. No point in mentioning that the one sister eventually got fed up with doing all the work while the other enjoys the luxury of Jesus’ company.
At one point she told Jesus (her guest) to tell her sister to start getting her hands dirty and do some work.
Jesus did the opposite.
He told the busy one to be more like the “lazy” one. Slow down. Relax. Having friends over for dinner should be a joyous, festive occasion with lots of talking, laughing, relaxing and every odd now and then also eating.
Back in the Cape where my wife I lived our whole lives before moving into the fast lane up here in Johannesburg, we were part of a group of friends called “The Saints”. Almost every Sunday we will get together and eat, drink, talk, laugh and sometimes even cry till late at night. Imagine starting every Monday tired from the little sleep of the previous night, but feeling energized to the brim because of a slow evening with good friends and great food.
With this group of friends I learnt that, just like good food and great wine needs patience and time, so do real, life changing friendships.
The next time you have a date with a friend, even if only for a quick coffee over tea break, put off your phone, order a piece of Milk Tart with your cuppachino, stop worrying about work, focus on your friend and just listen. The five minutes you’ll be late for work, won’t be noticed (you’re not THAT important...), but it might change your friendship for good.
Enjoy your tea break.