Happy, Thank You, More Please
Most of us feel like we need to arrive at the party with something. Often what we are bringing is a full cup of self. Self-cherishing is a carrying of self. We lug that cup of self because we believe that we must have something to present so that we can earn our way--an even exchange. And so we work to fill our cups in order that we may have something to offer. All of our mistakes, poor choices, selfish deeds, and embarressments are at the bottom of the cup covered by our accomplishments and justifications for our right to be here. The cup never gets fully-emptied. We only offer the cream on top in barter for what we want to earn, what we hope to purchase with our righteousness.
One of the great mysteries that Jesus taught is that of the empty cup:
Be like a child.
Sell all you have.
Come home empty-handed--like the prodigal son.
Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth (not earn or merit receiving the earth).
He taught the path of non-striving. He said that we could arrive empty-handed because The One Who Cares For Us Dearly is pleased to give us the kingdom.
The pure in heart see God because they are not looking at their cup of self-cherishing. They show up as a barren vessel waiting to be supplied with the abundance of this present moment, this holy moment. They are not recollecting what they have done for God, but what God has done for them. With their empty cups held high and their faces exuberant, they exclaim, "Holy, holy, holy!"
I think that the movie title Happy, Thank You, More Please sums it up.
May we all release self-cherishing (and the profusion of pain it brings) this Advent to arrive at the manger on Christmas morning with empty cups waiting to be filled with the glory of Christ.