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An Empty Cup

March 17, 2013

I wrote this blog post on 11 July 2012 while I was in Fiji.  I never published it.  It’s just one among others I’ve either never published or haven’t gotten around to completing.  Hope you enjoy it.

“Be an empty cup.”

Chinese Proverb

A few nights back as I was worshiping into the night under the twinkling Fijian sky, my iPod switched to one of my favorite worship songs.  It’s a song by The Violet Burning called Forty Weight.  The chorus goes like this:

Lord, my cup is empty

Won’t you come now and fill me up?


In the past this has been a weepy song for me.  One of those downer songs that you sing when you need a pick me up, when life bites and you’re looking for God to do something about it.  Well, not anymore.

You see, up until last night I was operating under the assumption that this song was about being empty and needing God to fill you.  Well, it might be, but being empty doesn’t have to be the starting point.

Flash back to last night.  I’m worshiping under the stars, singing loudly (probably way off-key) all by myself (I think) over a freshly plowed field under a star-covered South Pacific landscape.  This song comes on and unlike a lot of times when this song comes on, I’m actually not feeling particularly empty.  I’ve worshiped.  I’m actually full of life, blaring my guts out and enjoying every moment of it.  How can you sing a song like this when your cup is running over?

Maybe it’s not about me feeling empty, but it’s about me being empty.  That’s some of what worship’s about, isn’t it?

Praise has to do with proclaiming what God has done, but worship has to do with recognizing God for who he is.  Worship takes you completely out of the picture and puts the attention on God.  It’s not about what you have to offer.  It’s about recognizing who God is and saying something about it, taking some sort of action in response to that fact.

Whatever’s currently filling me, I want to pour it out.  I want to create a vacuum for God to fill.  I don’t want to make him empty me.

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