Author: Kristi Wile
I recently read a short story that went something like this; please allow me some grace in the retelling:
You are walking down the hallway at work with a cup of coffee in your hand. Someone walks by, bumps you and coffee spills from your cup. Then you are asked, “Whose fault is it that you spilled coffee?” Your response seems obvious enough. “It’s the fault of the person who bumped me, of course!” But that is not correct.
The true reason the coffee was spilled from your cup is because it was coffee that was in your cup. If you had tea in your cup, tea would have spilled out. If it was water in your cup, water would have been spilled. The person bumping you was indeed the force behind the spilling, but what spilled out is exactly what you had in your own cup.
I found this little story so poignant. When I am bumped, what spills out will be exactly what is inside of me. If I fill myself up with selfish gains, the world’s pleasures, resentments from past hurts, grudges I can’t let go of—when I get bumped by untimely slow traffic, waiting in a long line at the store, a to-do list that won’t quit, or unexpected interruptions in my already busy day—what spills out of me won’t be a reflection of my Jesus.
Instead, if I feast on God’s Word and hide it in my heart, meditating on it when I have to wait on something or someone, then my responses to people and situations will be a great deal more graceful and representative of the God I say I love.
I read this story and I have to confess that it gave me pause to consider how I respond to circumstances that I don’t like. What does it say about what is in my cup? I’m glad there isn’t a recording somewhere of me when I’m running late! But seriously, I have been paying closer attention to what spills out of me when I’m “bumped.”
What about you? What’s in your cup?