"Transforming Lives Through The Love of Christ"

What’s In Your Cup?

Reflections

 

Today I was at Starbucks with Mark Perkins.  We were waiting for our order and  it was taking a bit of time because of a huge order that came before us.  While we were standing there a woman who ordered before us was also waiting for her order but she was getting visibly upset.  She was pacing back and forth, sighing heavily and pursing her lips while giving the barista her death stare.  Finally, she blurted out: “Is my White Chocolate Mocha Double Chocolate Chip Frappuccino almost ready?”  Wow!  I think it took her longer to say her order than it did to actually make it.  A White Chocolate Mocha Double Chocolate Chip Frappuccinno…and you know it was not the first time she ordered it. She had no trouble spitting out every syllable; clearly this is a standard drink she has and she is use to getting it rather quickly.  She had that: “You know I am running late for my manicure and I left my Ferrari running because I come here everyday for my White Chocolate Mocha Double Chocolate Chip Frappuccino and you usually have it ready and I am really ticked off” look on her face.  You know that look.

It is funny the kind of things that annoy us. The kind of things that throw us over the edge.  For this woman, it was having to wait for her White Chocolate Mocha Double Chocolate Chip Frappuccino.  For you and me, it could be equally non-important things that get under our skin and make us lose sight of what is really important.  How many times have we had our day ruined because things didn’t go exactly as we planned?  How many times do we focus on the one negative thing while overlooking the hundred positive things?  How often do we huff and puff about an annoyance that a week later we can’t even remember? Solomon writes in Ecclesiastes:

As dead flies give perfume a bad smell, so a little folly  outweighs wisdom and honor. (Ecclesiastes 10:1).  It is the small things that cause the biggest problems.

How is it that something so small and seemingly so insignificant as a White Chocolate Mocha Double Chocolate Chip Frappuccino can have such a major impact on us? One of my favorite illustrations is from Dennis Kinlaw, the great former president of Asbury College.  While holding a cup of water he calls someone from the audience to come and shake his arm until the water is almost completely spilled out on the floor.  Then he asks the volunteer:

“Why did water spill out of the cup and all over the floor?

The answer from the participant comes easily:

“Because I shook your arm so hard that the water spilled out of the cup.”

Then, he asks the question again, repeating it to make sure the person understands it,  this time emphasizing the word water…

“Why did WATER spill out of the cup and all over the floor.”

This time, the answer is really obvious.

“Because WATER was in the cup!  if Soda was in the cup, soda would spill out on the floor.  If coffee was in the cup, coffee would spill on the floor.  If a White Chocolate Mocha Double Chocolate Chip Frappuccino was in the cup, a White Chocolate Mocha Double Chocolate Chip Frappucciono would spill on the floor.” (Well, he didn’t actually say that last part because White Chocolate Mocha Double Chocolate Chip Frappuccionos were not invented then).

The point Dr. Kinlaw was making was simply this:  What is in the cup is what comes out of the cup.  It is not the shaking that causes the contents of the cup.  The shaking does not produce what is in the cup; The shaking simply reveals what is already in the cup.  So when the world shakes us, when people provoke us, when we are misused, misunderstood, mistreated or mistaken…What is in the cup will come out.  When that guy cuts you off or someone says hurtful words or a promise is broken…What is in the cup will come out.  If anger is in the cup, anger will come out.  If impatience is in the cup, impatience will come out.  If sarcasm is in the cup, sarcasm will come out.  If hatred is in the cup, hatred will come out. By the same token, if the Spirit fills our cup, the Spirit will come out.  If love is in the cup, love will come out.  Paul writes in Ephesians:

“Do not get drunk on wine,  which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit, ” (Ephesians 5:18).

And David reflects:

“You prepare a table  before me in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil; my cup  overflows.” (Psalm 23:5)

What is in your cup?  What is overflowing and spilling out all over the world?

Hold on…I think that White Chocolate Mocha Double Chocolate Chip Frappuccino is finally ready. That means we are next.

 

Shalom!

What do you think?  How does it make you feel?

Blessings,

Steven

 

 

P.S.

I just wanted to give a shout out and congratulations to our son James who graduated from Texas Christian University this past Saturday.  We love him and are so proud of him and what he has accomplished.  He left home four years ago an excited college freshman and has returned having grown and matured in so many wonderful ways.  We were blessed to have met many of his professors, mentors, employers and instructors who spoke so highly of him it made us even more thankful for his experience and  the time he spent at TCU.  Susan and I are full fledged Horned Frog fans! We look forward to where God will lead him in the future as he will return home for a period of time until a job opens up for him.  Anyone who knows anyone in Sports Broadcasting and can help connect him to a job, let us know!  Thanks to all for your prayers throughout the years.  Keep them coming!