When has my coffee mug “served its purpose”?  Is it most fully living out its calling as a mug when it is full, steam rising from piping coffee resting at the brim?


Is it best to say that the coffee cup has fulfilled its purpose when it has been emptied to the last drop, satisfying the one who was poured into by the mug?

The Bible tells us that the man who loses his life for Jesus’ sake will save it.  I often struggle with this urge to find fulfillment in holding on to stuff, by filling my mug rather than pouring myself out.

Jesus hung on the cross until He fulfilled His purpose (God’s dream for His Son’s life).  Jesus completely emptied Himself of life, at which point He said, “It is fulfilled.”  I’m struck by the irony that “full” and “filled” are words that are discovered through “emptiness.”

Father, my “coffee mug prayer” is simply this:

I want to daily, moment-by-moment live attuned to how and when the Holy Spirit wants me to pour out my life in service to others.  I want my last day on this planet to look like an emptied coffee cup….

Coffee rings marking the tablecloth of the world around me

A dried line circling the brim of my cup indicating the fullness God poured into me at the time of my salvation

A light brown stain accumulated in the bottom corner that serves as a testimony that pouring out my life for God was good to the last drop.

Indeed, life is most fulfilling and satisfying when we empty ourselves in service for others.  The key to godliness is not the fat and happy state of over-indulging ourselves with Bible knowledge and Christian Country Club activities.  I’ve never known of anyone on his or her deathbed who said, “Oh, I regret that I didn’t take a bunch of seminary classes.”

So it’s about pouring out.  Living out God’s dream through us as His children has to do with giving our lives away until we can join Jesus in saying, “Now that I’ve fully emptied myself, it is fulfilled.”