Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Tea-time with God.

When I was younger than I am now, I always thought it would make a nice afternoon to have Tea with God. A sort of tea-time to beat all tea-times. A light-hearted tea-time of the soul. This tea-time would be paired with a game of Chess. I pondered that it should be a very odd experience to play a game of Chess with someone who, by definition, would have to win.

If God did not win, then there would be at least one thing that God attempted but did not succeed at. If there is something that God did not succeed at, then God is not all powerful. Additionally, if such a game were to be proposed with the unbendable rule that God should win, then the game would be remarkable unfair, and God is a perfectly fair God, and a perfectly just God, so this too would make it the case that the chess game is unplayable.

If God cannot play a game of Chess with a human, then there is at least one thing that God cannot do without violating his own rules, which he also cannot do. This could serve as a rationale to why God is not all-powerful.

It might be the case, however, that God did not intend to win the Chess game. Perhaps it was the intention of God to allow his tea-partner to have the experience of winning a game of Chess. That would certainly seem to fulfill his requirement of being all-good. However, it seems almost definitionally incompatible with God to allow a lesser being to triumph over him, no matter how small the stakes were. A human having completed such a task would have quite the boasting rights, and would probably form at least one religion in his/her own honour.

I wondered what sort of tea would be served, and at what temperature. It seems to me that a truly courteous host would want to serve a beverage at the most comfortable possible temperature for his guest. However, if that host is God, then he would also want to serve the beverage at the most comfortable possible temperature for himself, since Gods settle for no less than perfection.

Additionally, a truly courteous host would allow his guest to select the beverage being served. Although, if the host were God, the again the host would not settle for anything less than his personal favorite, having the high standards for beverages that only a God would have. So unless it were the case that both God's guest and God himself had the exact same beverage preferences, including temperature, God would be unable to pour the tea, or to accept the tea if his guest poured it (which is just poor etiquette anyway.)

One way around this would be for two pots of water to be boiled, and two separate types of tea to be infused in that water. However, to be truly proper, which it is assumed that a perfect God would be, he would not be so presumptuous as to drink a separate beverage than that which he offered his guest.

So the scenario we are left with is that of a tea-party where no tea can be served, and a chess-game where no chess can be played. Or at least that is what I penned in my journal as a young teenager.

If you are wondering exactly what explaining this journal entry has to do with tea, the answer lies within Tea Etiquette, and Tea Custom. Following proper tea custom is what makes serving the tea impossible for God.

Proper tea custom would dictate that the guest should be the most important consideration when brewing a beverage for such an invited guest. Proper tea custom would also dictate that the host should not drink a separate beverage from his guest, and also that a host would not be permitted to abstain from beverage while offering it to his guest. Additionally, the beverage must be poured for both members only in the presence of the guest being served.

There are many reasons why such customs came about. One of these is the fear of poison. If a host refuses to drink the same beverage offered to his guest, then it is a reasonable suspicion for that guest to assume that there might possibly be something wrong with the beverage. However, if the host does sip the same beverage as his guest, it provides a certain level of comfort and reassurance that there is, indeed, nothing wrong with the beverage at all.

There are a number of reasons why is a poor rationale (such as if the host had built himself up an immunity to a certain poison, or if a poisoner planned to kill both his guest and himself,) however most social customs have an equally poor rationale, such as the wearing of modern ties, which, in their origin were worn in medieval times at feasts, where they were used to wipe ones face and hands.

The reason for wearing ties has now vanished, and today's modern ties would be very inadequate to perform this job, not to mention it would be very socially unacceptable. However, because it was established as a social custom, it persists. Likewise, someone following proper tea etiquette in today's society almost certainly does not have in mind the assurance of their guest that they are not being poisoned.

So, the moral you should take away from this posting, which is probably the most random and bizarre, yet still tea-related posting I have ever done, is three-fold.

1: If you are a believer in the traditional God, you should on no account allow such God to invite you to tea, or to play chess or some other game of skill.

2: If you are a guest who has been invited by someone for tea, it is much less likely that you will be poisoned if your host follows proper tea etiquette, therefor you should always insist that your host does so.

3: Wearing ties is ridiculous.

Now you are three ideas wiser than you were before reading this post. You should be very pleased.

Over and out,
Relznuk Zero Relznuk


gledwood said...

Well of course God would bloody win because he is GOD!
Come on!!
Hi you've been on my linxx for ages... under Cookery etc blogs
I'm at gledwood2.blogspot
come by sometime
don't know that you ever have!
all the best 2u
"vol 2"...

Relznuk said...

Your blog rocks, gledwood. Thanks.

The Children's Literarian said...

Hi Relznuk,

As a lover of all things tea, I've considered creating a blog similar to yours but first thought I should see what is already in existence. Thank you for introducing me to some very interesting teas and products and companies on my first perusal! I might still start my own tea blog, but I will certainly return to yours.

Interesting thoughts about teatime with God. I very often have a cup of tea when I have my morning prayer and Scripture reading. Rather than doubting that such a perfect experience could ever be possible, I am convinced that God, who created all things for His glory and our good, would procure a better tea than I have ever imagined for us to share. Because I am made in His image and He loves me more than I can ever deserve, He would know exactly what temperature I would enjoy, and would enjoy it with me.

So there are a couple thoughts in response. Thanks for your reviews.

Relznuk said...

Hey Children's Literarian.

Glad to hear you're considering a tea blog, and thrilled that you are enjoying my reviews and other materials.

Interesting response to my TeaTime with God.