Remember all the hub bub from Thanksgiving to Christmas about a simple red cup? In the end, it wasn’t anti-Christmas. It was a simple red cup for the holidays. All across this country people took the cup as offered and turned it into something else.
Recently, I was listening to an interview on a podcast called “On Being.” On this episode Krista Tippett, host, was interviewing Martin Sheen. The interview was an in-depth look at Sheen’s life and faith. At one point he made the statement, “We need to accept the cup as offered not altered.” I was so struck by the statement that I wrote in on a post-it and stuck it to my computer screen. This statement has been stirring within me for about a month.
I am finding that often, in my life, what is offered is not enough. I want more, or I want it differently. I was given the opportunity to teach a new course this semester. I thanked God for the opportunity, but then quickly added to the prayer, “But wouldn’t it be great if…” I wanted more. Rather than accepting the cup as offered, I wanted to alter it. It wasn’t enough.
Sometimes what we are offered isn’t positive. Sometimes the cup is a job loss or illness and we would rather not accept the cup at all. It’s hard, and initially we aren’t seeing the blessings in it. However, in accepting the cup as offered there is opportunity for the adversity to restore relationships, bring healing, provide testimony and so much more.
27 Then he took a cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you. (Matthew 26:27 NIV).
This scripture is from the last supper. It was right before everything changed for the disciples. It was right after this that Jesus was betrayed, flogged, crucified, and the disciples were left alone. I don’t think they wanted this cup as offered. I think they wanted to alter the cup. They couldn’t see ahead to the many ways this would change the world and glorify God.
That cup is still being poured out today for each one of us. Will we accept it as offered or will we try to alter it, or even reject it. Accepting the cup as offered has brought a richness and beauty to my life that I am grateful for. I need to strop trying to alter it. God’s plan is better than my plan. Will you join me? Will you accept the cup? Will you stop trying to alter it?
A simple statement by Martin Sheen is still stirring within me. How is it stirring within you? Share your story here and encourage others.