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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: Illustrate the meaning of "Make Hay While the Sun Shines" (without using the actual phrase or literal example). (03/06/08)

TITLE: The Measuring Cup
By Marita Vandertogt


Hi Gail. Iím sending you this email cause right now my phone bill is a little on the high side, and this is so much cheaper. Besides, once we start talking, we talk about everything but what we should be talking about. You know, the important stuff. Stuff thatís going on in our lives. Maybe we do that cause itís more fun to talk and laugh about other things, than it is to face them.

Well, oddly enough, thatís not why Iím emailing you. Itís for a different reason, though I guess in a way, it kind of is. We probably wouldnít talk about this, and for some reason, itís hitting me as being really important. The kind of thing that can make a major life change if you let it.

Okay, well, I accidently (are there any such things as accidents in the Christianís life) anyway, I turned on a tv program this morning, and this woman was speaking, Beth Moore, that was her name. She was walking around this group of women holding up a measuring cup. And in the measuring cup, she had about 1/8 worth of liquid. The rest of the cup was empty. She said that the 1/8th represented the part of us that we allowed God to fill, you know, when we do our 15 minutes of devotions in the morning, or whenever. She said that left the rest of the cup empty, and that meant for most of us, we spend our days trying to fill it up with all kinds of other things.

Well, she got me thinking. Yah, I spend most of my days, when Iím not working, trying to fill them up with something. Yesterday, I spent most of the day looking for two cushions to match my living room couch. Two cushions, a whole afternoon, and I never did find them. Talk about filling up the empty space. Thereís nothing wrong with it, I donít think. I mean, God allows us our time to do the things we want as well, doesnít He? I mean, not everything is just filling the cup is it? Some of itís very necessary stuff. Can you tell she hit a nerve.

Anyway, she said that for the person who lives alone, itís easy to feel justified in trying to fill their lives, while they wait for the wonderful husband, the great marriage and kids. But for the person who already has a full rich life, well, apparently they can still be searching to fill that empty space. Go figure. I thought about you. I think youíve shared that you feel that way sometimes, even though you seem to have it all.

Well, then she read Luke 4:14 and on (NIV). Especially the part where Jesus stood up and read the scroll, the Isaiah passage, and called it His job description. That the Spirit of God had anointed Him to preach good news to the poor, to proclaim freedom to the prisoners, you know that passage. Give sight to the blind, release the oppressed. Thatís how He spent his days. There wouldnít be much of an empty cup for Him.

Anyway, just thought Iíd take a few minutes and share this with you. I guess the empty cup feeling thing, itís not so uncommon. Most of us feel it. Because, now this is me, and not Beth Moore, but maybe, instead of looking for matching cushions for my couch on a Sunday afternoon (donít even start with me about the whole shopping thing). Well, maybe instead of doing that, I need to be filling the empty part of my cup with something a little more meaningful. Thatís just me now.

Though I thought of you too. I know you struggle with filling up the empty feelings too, and maybe you need to look at what youíre filling them up with. You know what Iím talking about (after all, what are friends for).

I donít know. I just know that this is making me think. How much of my time do I waste trying to fill in the empty space with other things, and after all, how much time do we really have left anyway, you know, before He comes back for us.

Just thought Iíd share this for what itís worth. By the way, next time I think itís your turn to call. Whatever.

Have a good day Ė or maybe I should say, have a God day.


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Member Comments
Member Date
Sally Hanan03/13/08
This was really well done, specifically because you managed to turn an important message into a story that was NOT preachy and left the reader something they might think about for more than a few hours after closing the browser.
Joanne Sher 03/15/08
Much to ponder. Your voice was just right for a letter--and I love Beth Moore illustrations. A creative take on the topic!
Verna Cole Mitchell 03/16/08
This was a clever way to use the topic with a very challenging message.