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Empty Your Cup

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Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable to you, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer. (Psalm 19:14)


Melissa Chu, in her article, “The Empty Cup,” tells the story of a Zen master who people far and wide would come to visit, seeking enlightenment. As the master received his guests, he would simply pour them tea. One day a scholar came to visit the master to find out what the enlightenment talk was all about. The scholar had a number of questions and comments.


Finally, the master walked over to the fire, picked up the pot, set the cup in front of the scholar and began pouring his tea. He kept pouring until his cup overflowed, and the master kept pouring the tea all over the table. The scholar hollered out, “Hey, stop pouring, it is overflowing!” “Exactly,” the Zen master replied with a smile. “You are like this cup — so full of ideas that nothing more will fit in. Come back to me with an empty cup.”


While this is a Zen tale, it could very well have been a Biblical account. We have so many  preconceived notions and prejudices, it leaves little room for the Holy Spirit to “enlighten” us. Our routines and demands require so much of our time, that we have little room left in the cup of our soul. It sounds so easy to empty your cup, but it is painfully difficult.


Today, sit down and attempt to empty your mind. The more we are able to empty our minds, the easier it will become to empty the cup of our soul. Sitting in complete silence, letting the mind empty, gives the soul a chance to rest and heal. Even more importantly, emptying provides room for the Holy Spirit to speak and fill the cup of your soul with peace, hope, and love. That is worth a few minutes of silence. Give it a try.