Gratitude bestows reverence, allowing us to encounter everyday epiphanies, those transparent moments of awe that change forever how we experience life and the world. ~ Sara Ban Breathnach

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Week II - The Open Cup

At times I am amazed how comfortable we feel.  I am even more amazed that many of us EXPECT to feel comfortable! We do not like to be made to feel uncomfortable and we do our best to alleviate the source of our discomfort ASAP.

But, I believe that Jesus made his disciples and those who followed him, uncomfortable.  It was in their place of discomfort that seeds of change and transformation were planted.  I believe their discomfort, helped to create the men and women of vision, who then began spreading the news of the gospel, regardless of the dangers involved.

Well, if I believe that from discomfort, comes transformation...then there is hope for me yet! Joyce begins this second week, The Open Cup, and I am feeling nudged toward discomfort, as I hold her images and thoughts.

She begins by reminding us that most everything needs to be opened in order for it to serve its purpose.  A book, a closet, a drawer, the Inbox in Outlook... The same holds true, she says, for our spiritual self. "Being open is a prerequisite for spiritual growth."
"In order for God to enter our lives fully, we must be ready to receive. The door to our inner self must be wide open. Our mind and heart need to be receptive so that we can hear and receive what God is offering us. God needs openings in our lives in order to 'get through to us,' to communicate with us, to nourish us, to stretch us toward greater growth, to revitalize and renew us with love." (Joyce Rupp, The Cup of Life, p 44)
Okay, I truly appreciate the need for openness, it is the next few paragraphs that Joyce hits me between the eyes...
"Sometimes we may be open but not have much room to receive,due to the inner clutter that junks up and crowds our mind and heart. This clutter claims a lot of mental and emotional space and keeps us from receiving the good things we need...our spirits need to take in what is life-giving and empty out what is not helpful for us." (Ibid)
For the coming week, Joyce says she will invite us/me to ponder my openness and to take some brave steps to empty out anything that might be keeping your/my spiritual cup from being filled.
"As you pray thought this week, may you continue to open the space within yourself that is waiting to be filled with the radiance of God." (Ibid)

It sometimes seems that I am continually decluttering. Joyce expresses it well, saying that she no sooner gets the top of her desk cleared, that it is covered again.  I so relate to that!  To do "deep decluttering" takes time and intention.  It is more than simply clearing off a surface.  

But, if I need an image to help me bravely step into this process, it would be "...waiting to be filled with the radiance of God."

So, one step at a time....A friend often reminds me to think "one" rather than an entire page of  things I want.  I would add to be intentional about my language and self talk.  I want to remind myself that I want to declutter the space of my heart and mind, rather than I need to do this. It is such a subtle thing, yet for me it makes a huge difference to want to do something rather than berating myself that I need to....

So, the journey continues!

As you and I take one step at a time down this path, may you sense new openness....just as the spring flowers are beginning to open...may your spiritual cup become what God is inviting....

Many Blessings ~ Sandi

1 comment:

  1. I need to be open and let God enter my life FULLY. I hope to trust God to do what He has planned (not what I am trying to control). May He help me to recognized clutter in my life (physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual) - then help me remove it. May my time with Christ in quiet be kept.