Overflow, July 18. 2012

Psalm 23
The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not want. 
God makes me lie down in green pastures; 
God leads me beside still waters; 
God restores my soul. 
God leads me in right paths for God’s name’s sake. 
Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I fear no evil; 
For you are with me; your rod and your staff– they comfort me. 
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; 
You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. 
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, 
And I shall dwell in the house of the LORD my whole life long.
The 23rd Psalm might be one of the most inviting poems ever written. The Psalmist invites the reader into a visual world of peace and rest. Even the darkest valleys cannot overshadow the care and attending of the one who calls us each beloved.

This Psalm has functioned to comfort the sick and dying and the mourning. But it also invites us to consider our blessings. How has God anointed your head with oil? What does this even mean? An anointing can be for healing, to mark the holy or to set someone aside for a particular role or work. How has God marked you?

We are each marked as God’s beloved and our cups overflow. What is overflowing in your cup today?

I have to admit that on days like today I get so caught up in the busyness, in the tasks and conversations, in the worry about getting things done and crossing things off my list I nearly forget to breathe let alone stop and acknowledge that my cup is overflowing with utter beauty and the gifts of friendship, love, community and conversations that fill my life not the tasks and details that I am allowing to either distract or overwhelm me.

Someone I know posts a list (on facebook) at the end of each day of what they’re thankful for. If you’re like me you might find this, well, annoying… cynically I think to myself, “Wow, how can she be so thankful? No one is this thankful everyday!” And then I realize it’s a spiritual practice, a discipline to get to the end of our days, the end of a year, even the end of lifetime and say,

“This. This is how my cup is overflowing. This my blessing and my anointing. This is how God has marked me for service and relationship in the world. Thanks be to God.”
So, what’s on your Thanksgiving list today?

Even if it’s silly or simple or cheesy,
write it down or pray it out loud
and give thanksgiving to the God
that says, “you are mine”,
“you are beloved”
and “you do not walk this path alone”.