Tonight I was really thirsty. Thirsty enough that I had a headache, thirsty enough my mouth was dry. And sweet tea sounded really good. So I put my kettle on the stove to heat the water, and I pulled out my black tea. “Oh how thirsty I am…maybe I should just get a glass of water.” But my thought was, if I get a glass of water, then I won’t be thirsty for my sweet tea that I’m making. So I waited. Longest 20 minutes of my life. I waited for that water to heat up. I waited for my tea to brew. Then I had to prepare my tea with sugar, add some ice to a glass. Pour. Sip. Two glasses later, I was satisfied with my drink. And had I just grabbed a glass of water, that sweet tea probably would not have tasted as good, because I already had a different taste in my mouth, and my thirst would have already been partially quenched.
Now I went on about that story to bring it back to the other night…
I had went out with a few of my girlfriends for a late night dinner date after work. Maxine* and I have been best friends since we both were wee toddlers, and I befriended Bailey* in high school. Bailey had just broken up with her boyfriend, so she needed to be out. I was full of several emotions upon hearing about this breakup, one of which was saddness because I knew she was dating this lad for a few years, but I was also full of excitement because I know she has a bright future ahead of her.
The night my ex and I had a talk before we decided to go our separate ways, I was torn. I hate hurting people. But I knew deep in my heart that our relationship wasn’t right, that something about it just wasn’t settling my stomach. And it seemed that we both were so unhappy. When I opened my mouth, all I could muster out was “I think we need a break,” and the look in his eyes was gut wrenching. We stayed friends for several months (and we still talk to each other once in a blue moon), but the hardest time came when my car broke down, and I had to rely heavily on him to take me to work, and ultimately a ride back home for the summer once the school semester was over. Watching him leave after we unloaded my car, felt like a jabbing metal wire twisting inside of my stomach. There was a brief hug, but that really pulled the trigger inside my brain that we were truly over. And I missed him. It took me all summer to work on getting out of the habit of wanting to text him. One long summer. But eventually God healed my broken heart, and I realized that I need Him more than a man.
Now, I can’t say that my relationship was a mistake, because had we not dated, I wouldn’t have gone to school at UWGB, where I met many dear friends that I have now. And I wouldn’t have befriended several great families from the church up there. But, as I was waiting for that sweet tea, it got me to thinking about relationships, and how so many young women and men are so thirsty that they grab the first glass of water they can get to without really realizing that it wasn’t water that they wanted, but maybe it was a glass of sweet tea that they wanted in the long run. Why do so many young people settle for something that won’t satisfy them? It could be perhaps that they are impatient to wait for the water to boil and the tea to brew, or possibly, young ones feel that drinking that glass of water first won’t affect how they handle the sweet tea after.
Unfortunately, it does make a difference. A young person waiting for the water to boil and the tea to brew, means that they will be way more satisfied once it turns out to be delicious, ice cold sweetness in the mouth. They aren’t hesitant in wanting more, until that tea is completely finished. Think about it this way. When anyone has leftovers of anything, they typically put it in the fridge. Sometimes, though things get moved and shoved allllllll the way to the back of the fridge, on the bottom shelf. Then it begins to stink. If one doesn’t fully wait for the sweet tea, and just fills up on water until the sweet tea is done brewing, then that person will just bottle up what’s leftover and put it in the fridge, and possibly that sweet tea will get shoved in the back on the bottom. Sometimes, if one isn’t careful and patient enough to wait for their sweet tea, they don’t always treat it like it’s the most satisfying drink around. And really, is sweet tea completely satisfying, when the taste of water was there first?
Bailey* although she is probably not the happiest in the present time (or maybe she is, I don’t know how her relationship was), I know that if she continues to wait, that her drink will come around. Maybe he’ll be sweet tea, maybe he’ll be a hot coffee Boston style, but ultimately I know that she’ll find hers. I know that I look forward to seeing who/what God is brewing for me. And for every young person out there, stop grabbing the first drink you see, wait for the sweet tea, because it’ll be worth that quenching wait.
*indicates name change