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Chris Carpenter
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My Cup Runneth Over ... and Then Some

By Chris Carpenter Program Director - Take a good hard look at the image to your upper right.  Go ahead, it’s not going to hurt you.  Just take a look.  Stare at it for a moment if you must.  What do you see?  A nice, cool, refreshing cup of your favorite beverage – Coke, Pepsi, Dr. Pepper, Sprite, right? 

Guess again.

That rather innocent, innocuous source of liquid refreshment is a heavy contributor to moral decay.  Some would argue for tooth decay too.  No, I am not crazy and furthermore I am just as guilty as the next person when it comes to succumbing to the almighty soda.  But that sparkling, fizzy drink you are looking at is huge with a capital H! 

Madison Avenue marketers like to think they know what is best for me but I will not succumb to a mindset where bigger is necessarily better. 

Allow me to illustrate.  On a recent outing to the movies with a friend, we decided to stop in at the concession stand to pick up a few snacks.  The line was fairly long so there was plenty of time to observe the purchasing habits of my movie-going brethren.  Either I had never taken the time to do this in the past or was just plain oblivious to what was taking place but I was shocked and chagrined at what I saw.  Patron after patron was leaving the concession stand with their arms buckling under the strain of one, sometimes two heaving 32 ounce cups of soda.   For those of you scoring at home, 36 ounces is just a fraction shy of half a six-pack! 

Assuming one person can even ingest most if not all 32 ounces of this carbonated goo-dness there is a fairly strong likelihood he or she will miss at least part of the movie due to frequent bathroom breaks.  I don’t know about you but at eight dollars a ticket I want to view every last frame of the movie, including the credits.   

When it was finally my turn to order I simply requested a small Diet Coke.  The concession stand worker looked at me incredulously and said, “Sir, for 50 cents more you can get twice as much as what you just ordered.”

I realized my pimply-faced teenaged concessionaire was only doing his job of up-selling his product but I couldn’t resist.  I took a big gulp and asked,  “What would I ever do with that much soda?”

“Ah, drink it, sir.”

Just as I was about to respond I overheard my friend ordering the same behemoth sized beverage in question to go along with his gigantic sized popcorn, quart of ice cream, and a sack of licorice the size of a grocery bag.

“John, why are you ordering all that food?”  I questioned from just beyond the golden buttery topping dispenser.

“Well, for a dollar more I can super-size everything in my order.”

“But you will never eat it all.”

“It’s a better value.”

“But you’re not going to eat it!”

John just shrugged his shoulders.  He was buying food without any intention of eating it all for the sole reason he could get a better deal.  Even worse, his bill came to a staggering $21 dollars.  That is dinner out for two at some fairly reputable restaurants. 

Sadly, we are living in a culture that is predicated on getting value, or a better deal.  Just take a moment to consider all of the advertisements we are deluged with on a daily basis telling us more is far better than less.  I can’t help but think of all those late night television commercials instructing me that if I just buy the set of steak knives for $39.99, the Acme Knife Company wants to thank me for my faithful patronage by throwing in a free, yes you heard that correctly, a FREE apple peeler.  But wait, there is more.  They will even include an indestructible paring knife valued at $25 dollars for no additional charge.  Do I need this stuff?  No, but more is far better than less – or at least that is what corporate America is telling me.

But I don’t think this philosophy is especially true.  The only thing where I have found wanting more to be far better than wanting less is my relationship with Jesus Christ.  There have been so many times in my life where I have told myself that I really didn’t need Jesus and that at least for me, less was more.  How wrong could I have been.  I found that when I tried to place Jesus in an unwanted box to go along with my free apple peeler and indestructible paring knife, my life always seemed to self-destruct.  Call it coincidence, call it fate, but I call it the love of a Father missing His son.  I can’t seem to function without more of Jesus.

In Luke 12:29-31, Jesus told His disciples, “And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it.  For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them.  But seek His kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well.”

Today, my message for you is simple.  There is no need for a biblical dissertation or eschatological analysis of the preceding scripture.  As Christians, we are all filled with longing.  We all need more of Jesus, not less.  If for whatever reason you believe you can place Jesus in that box with all your unwanted belongings I can tell you this; you are not getting a better value.

Take a good hard look at the image to your upper right.  What do you see?  Do you want more?  I hope so.


* Portions contained within this article from the Transformer Study Bible.

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