Holding Your Cup

Thursday, January 22, 2015



It's no secret that one of my favorite vacations is wine tasting.  The reason is not because I am some kind of wine snob, but rather because nothing makes you slow down quite like sipping on a glass of wine.  I frequently notice that when I taste a wine at a winery it will taste much different than when I drink it at home.  Unlike at my house, when I am at a winery I am taking my time.  I'm not just drinking but I'm holding.  Examining. Checking the color.  Sniffing.  Analyzing.  Wine is so much better when it's experienced in this way.

I think the same is true of life.  So often I go through life just trying to get from one day to the next.  I don't even bother looking at what is in my "life cup."  I chug it down in order to survive and scarcely notice whether it's fulfilling or whether it's fitting or whether it's sour.  Whether it's full and rich, or diluted and tasteless.  This is especially true when the contents of my life cup are hard to swallow.  I want to pinch my nose and guzzle it down quickly so that I can forget about the unpleasantness.  I rarely stop to examine my cup; to notice its complexities, its aroma, its color.

In his book "Can You Drink the Cup" Henri Nouwen says, “Just living life is not enough. We must know what we are living." We must take a good hard look at what is in our cup; whether it is lovely or flavorless or hard to swallow. We must stop and notice. In order to answer Jesus' question “Can you drink the cup that I am going to drink?” we must know what is in our cup.  We must slow down, hold, examine, and reflect.

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