Love is a cup that isn’t hard to fill

by Craig on March 3, 2011

So I’m thinking about rules today.

And winning, and losing.

And what’s fair and what’s not.

Because here’s the thing.

There are the world’s rules – and God’s rules.

We know how God defines successful living. Our Lord said:

“…love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind…love your neighbor as yourself…The whole law and the prophets depend on these two commandments.” (MT 22:37-40)

We know how the world defines successful living.

“The object of the game is to become the wealthiest player through buying, renting and selling…THE RICHEST PLAYER WINS!”

Oh,

sorry,

those are actually the official rules of Monopoly.

But they’re pretty close.

There’s just one BIG exception. In Monopoly you can win. This world’s game is designed to have everyone trying to win – but nobody ever being satisfied. It’s the exact opposite of Love.

Love has a cup that isn’t hard to fill,

and when the cup gets filled,

it doesn’t demand a bigger cup.

I’m going to share with you guys a piece of my personal journal.

It was written during a difficult time,

among a few other challenges …

I was homeless.

You need to know the “homeless” part – or it doesn’t make sense.

At first, eating soup out of a can in a parking lot was good stuff.  It was a meal, and I looked forward to it, and it tasted. just. fine. Then I got access to a microwave and a sink. And suddenly cold soup from a can wasn’t nearly so appetizing.

When you have nothing, you learn to live with it, and anything at all is blessing. Then, when you get something, you want more. And what used to satisfy – doesn’t anymore.

Like soup from the can.

Isn’t that a little bit of craziness?

And I think that a better situation than homeless in my little two door Saturn, would be homelessness in a van,

and better than that would be living in a rented room,

or my own rented hovel,

or a nice apartment,

or owning my own little hovel,

or a nice house, or better, or better, or better.

There is always better, and unless I am peaceful, content, and present, I’ll never be satisfied.

In the world’s game every step up, only reveals another step to reach. It’s like walking up a down escalator. There are always new steps. It can be a good thing, continual new horizons, goals to attain – but it also means never being satisfied.

The only way to win this stupid game

is to transcend the game.

I can’t not play the game.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with achievement,

or being able to live well,

or having money, or success.

We are “in” the world – and so – in the game. But we aren’t of the world – and so we should be able to rise above the game.

And how to transcend the game?

A choice – to choose to be peaceful, content, and present.

This last week I’ve shared with you guys the secret of peace. God showed me that while I was homeless. Homelessness, even though it was horrible – in many ways was one of the better times of my life. It was a time of growth, learning, and intimacy with God.

He taught me how to be content before homelessness began.

And began teaching me the value of being “present” as it was going on.

I’m still working on that.

If I live only for this life, it means having a cup that’s hard to fill, and when it gets filled, I’ll want a bigger cup. The only way to win the game is to play the game by the rules of love.

Love has a cup that isn’t hard to fill,

and when the cup gets filled,

it doesn’t demand a bigger cup.

In God’s Love

{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

Kim March 3, 2011 at 8:32 am

I love this post, Craig! Going up on the down elevator…even a better image than the treadmill I usually imagine because the climbing *seems* real.

I will hold this love’s cup in my head and heart. Thank you! And may your cup ever and always be easily filled.

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Craig March 3, 2011 at 9:06 am

Thank you for that thought, “may your cup ever and always be easily filled.” If I continue to grow in love – it will be. God Bless you Kim.

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Dianna McBride March 3, 2011 at 9:34 pm

Thank you, Craig, for your transparency for the betterment of those who stop by here to read.

“Love has a cup that isn’t hard to fill,
And when the cup gets filled,
it doesn’t demand a bigger cup.”

SO like that quote. Another one to add to my favorite quotes. It certainly sums up where I am headed.

Thanks for sharing.

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Craig March 4, 2011 at 8:10 am

Dianna – thank YOU. Every time I let out a little of me it’s scary – I think – NO pretend to be always ON, always UP – but life isn’t like that – for anybody! We try, we strive, we work, we live in a broken world. So thank you for what you said. God Bless.

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Emilie March 3, 2011 at 10:01 pm

This was definitely a reminder I needed… thank you! :)

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Craig March 4, 2011 at 8:11 am

Cups – we all have them – some have holes, some are too big, to ornate – we need just regular sized cups – and drink deeply of just the good stuff – and be filled. Thank you Emilie. God Bless.

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Debra March 4, 2011 at 12:41 am

“And how to transcend the game?
A choice – to choose to be peaceful, content, and present.”
Simply profound! These succinct stories speak volumes Craig.
To be content with such things as we have…. the key to true success.
What an inspiring story of your homelessness once upon a time.

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Craig March 4, 2011 at 8:14 am

If not for God – homelessness would have been just and only that. I give him all the credit for turning it into a place to learn, and get closer to him. More him – less me. He is kind of amazing that way – so big – and cares – how does he do it? God Bless you Debra. Thank you.

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Anonymuss March 4, 2011 at 12:07 pm

sometimes my brain just gets tired-so tired from trying to figure out if this moment…one of many but no two alike…if this moment is one in which i should be thankful and content, or one in which i need to establish appropriate and loving boundaries or one in which i should press on despite the challenges or one in which i should turn the other cheek or what. i struggle so often to just hang on to my personhood or even to understand what that is…who am i and what rights do i have? am i truly being content or am i just giving up, for the time being, when maybe my life needs for me to register legitimate unrest?

i guess i am content, but sometimes it is a lonely content or a sad content or an empty content…and then i am not even sure it is content or just something else. something else that really needs to be addressed…but i don’t always know how it should be addressed…there are so many options…though taking a wrong turn can be critical…

craig, i think i am struggling with something else, because i like what you wrote, and it is true, and i have been guilty of trying to fix broken things with bigger cups.

tears. just tears.

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Craig March 4, 2011 at 12:30 pm

A, content never means not trying to change. Content never means not trying to improve, situations, life, character. Content just means the “me” inside – while I am trying to improve things – the essence of me is still water – not churning sea. Content also doesn’t mean not lonely or not sad – that happens – that is this stupid broken world – content goes beyond momentary happy or sad. It’s the overall flow. “Content” is also a book proposal of mine that has been reviewed – and rejected by some fine publishing houses. One day maybe. So I have researched and written a lot about it. Struggle, confusion, pressing on, addressing wrongs, moving forward, all this happens in contentment. I don’t know the specifics – but the whole secret of peace thing yuo might find helpful – pray – make the plan – pray His will – want his will – dot i’s cross t’s – and then accept the outcome as his will. I’ll just shut up now – and pray. God bless.

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Anonymuss March 4, 2011 at 1:02 pm

thanks, craig. what you have said makes sense. you are describing a place of calm in the midst of the storm. i am in the midst of a period of heavy lifting greater than any period of my life. i need to remain clear about the basics (contentment, jesus, etc.) even as i am questioning some of what used to comprise my basics. that is a huge part of why this is such an extremely challenging time in my life. i am thinking about and will try to apply the simple recipe you have included as your second-to-last statement. some of the details are even fuzzy to my comprehension and it is my life. how absurd is that? i also know that i am not alone in this type of experience. many get hid broadside with life’s titanics. you are one of those who bring life rafts.

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Christina March 4, 2011 at 5:02 pm

I love the statement: “Love has a cup that isn’t hard to fill, and when the cup gets filled,
it doesn’t demand a bigger cup.” It’s like Pascal’s quote of the God shaped hole. When God fills the whole, we don’t need anything else. I also appreciated the reference to escalators. I think I’ll use that to explain discontentment to my kids.

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Craig March 4, 2011 at 5:05 pm

So that was Pascal – I LOVE wen I learn new stuff – thank you. Christina, thank you for reading me, thank you for commenting, God Bless and keep.

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Becky Dunlap March 5, 2011 at 11:55 am

Hey Craig, I “met” you when you started replying to my blog from over at Ann’s. :O) I’ve been blessed by your replies and wondered about your writings… can I just say that you are a beautiful WRITER. It’s a gift.
I read this today and among other treasures this one stood out…
“There is always better, and unless I am peaceful, content, and present, I’ll never be satisfied. ”
And your first reply to A. was beautiful and something I needed to read as well. I juggle and question whether I can be “content” in the midst of rapid-cycling bipolar.. because my feelings go so up and down.. but I appreciate this:
“content never means not trying to change. Content never means not trying to improve, situations, life, character. Content just means the “me” inside – while I am trying to improve things – the essence of me is still water – not churning sea. Content also doesn’t mean not lonely or not sad – that happens – that is this stupid broken world – content goes beyond momentary happy or sad. It’s the overall flow. ”
THANK YOU for being real and transparent, it’s blessed me and given me thoughts to ponder. God bless, Becky

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Craig March 5, 2011 at 12:01 pm

Becky, your kind words have brought a smile. Smiles are good!! I gave up wearing masks back in January when I chose “connect” as my year. So walls have been coming down. It’s scary but more like Jesus. I know how health can affect mood – and especially how a brain out of whack can do it – not to the degree or kind that your bipolar does – but I do know of managing the waves. God bless you. Thank you for reading – and these kind words. thank you.

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Lisa notes... March 5, 2011 at 7:40 pm

“The only way to win this stupid game is to transcend the game.”

Your words always make me think, Craig, and always leave me filled. I love your statement. I want to transcend the game too. It’s so easy to get caught up in the world’s rules but I want to be caught up in Christ’s love. Thanks for sharing a piece of your story here. It was helpful.

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Craig March 5, 2011 at 8:10 pm

It’s my year of connecting remember – masks dropped. Thank you Lisa for reading -and your kind words. God bless,

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Mari March 6, 2011 at 8:27 pm

We were made for so much more, but that “more” isint fully achievable in this life. I’m struggling in this today and here I come and read your wonderful post about just the thing. Im praying to get there…thank you for sharing your words =) Have a blessed week.

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Craig March 6, 2011 at 8:39 pm

I totally get out of the way on this one. I don’t handle this kind of timing. Our Lord does. I just write words. It humbles me and brings me happiness to know that my words might be of help. That’s what I really want – is to write about God, and have it help. Less of me, more of him. Thank you Mari. You’ve been a blessing to me this evening. God Bless.

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