Thursday, June 27, 2013

…my cup overflows. (Psalm 23:5)

            When a cup overflows, it usually means a mess to clean up.
            Twice in less than two weeks, restaurant servers have spilled ice water on me. Cold, but clean. But as a mom, I can remember countless overflowing beverages, and I sopped and I mopped.
            So how can I view this overflowing thing positively? Two modern examples come to mind.
            First, I think of a slot machine in a casino spitting out coins into a cup that quickly fills, spilling the bounty onto the floor. Note:  I have only seen this in TV shows and movies.
            I have experienced my second example many happy times. When I go to Johnson’s Popcorn on the boardwalk in Ocean City, NJ, they ask, “Do you want the lid on or off?” If I want the lid on, I get less popcorn, because the lid has to close. If I ask for the lid off, I receive a tub of warm, sweet, caramel popcorn heaped over the top and falling out.
            Time out for my favorite statements about cups:

  •     Optimist:  The cup is half full.
  •      Pessimist:  The cup is half empty.
  •      Whiner:  What cup? You got a cup?! Why don’t I ever get a cup!? Waaaaaaa!

    (Okay, I confess:  An alternate spelling of whiner is “R-o-b-e-r-t-a.”)

            David, shepherd, psalm-writer, and king was neither optimist, pessimist, nor whiner—at least not in this psalm. Everything he writes about God in 114 words (NIV) encourages me to pray, asking for the lid off.

The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
    He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
    he refreshes my soul.
He guides me along the right paths
    for his name’s sake.
 Even though I walk
    through the darkest valley,
I will fear no evil,
    for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
    they comfort me.
 You prepare a table before me
    in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
    my cup overflows.
Surely your goodness and love will follow me
    all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord
Psalm 23, from


  1. Speaking of whiners, I'd say this statement from Job qualifies:

    Do you think I can pull myself up by my bootstraps?
    Why, I don't even have any boots!

  2. I am very sympathetic to Job's whining. The Message sure puts a new spin on it.