Anatomy of a Mug
2 Corinthians 4:7-12 – But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show us that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.
Anyone who knows me well knows that I’m a sucker for warm beverages. Give me a cup of hot tea, coffee, or hot chocolate, comfy clothes, Adele singing in the background, and something to read, plop me on a couch and I couldn’t be happier. Anything that looks cozy just adds to the experience. I think that’s why I like coffee shops so much. The earthy interior and dim lighting combined with smells of baked goods and roasted coffee beans puts me in a good mood no matter what kind of day I’m having. What can I say, it gets me every time.
I came home from college today to a small box sitting on the kitchen table addressed to none other than yours truly. I knew the handwriting like the back of my hand. Grandma. God love her, remembering my birthday and getting her gift in early as always. I was in no rush to open it, but when I did, the tea drinking fanatic inside of me smiled from ear to ear. A mug. An endowment from one tea lover to the next. But it wasn’t just any mug. A big, beautiful clay mug with flowers painted on the outside. Strange as it sounds, when I looked at it, I pictured it growing on a tree; the clay being formed in the depths of the Earth and somehow magically bursting forth in that wonderfully crafted shape. I loved it so much, I couldn’t stop looking at it. I am also a sucker for pretty little knick knacks (in case you couldn’t have guessed). My beverage was going to taste better, look better, and I was going to relax better with this mug, I just knew it.
Needless to say, this mug was filled to the brim with black tea, milk, and honey soon after and I was sitting down to read a new book I borrowed from a friend. I was still looking at the mug though, admiring the skill of the artist who created it. The mug was definitely hand crafted. There were initials in the clay. I loved the feel of the unpainted clay on the bottom of it; proof that this was the real deal…handcrafted, shaped, molded and painted to perfection by a caring maker.
And as I sat there, wondering why I cared so much about this mug, but not wanting to stop looking at it just yet. It was beautiful, but it is just a mug after all….
It’s just a mug, and I’m just a human. But me and my mug, I think we have a lot in common. We were both formed, shaped, and loved on by a skilled Creator who saw a purpose in our existence. The Creators set their marks on us and put us into the world to be filled and to pour goodness and joy into those around us. They made us perfect, called us their own, and gave us a mission.
We are both jars of clay, storing and holding tasteful treasures. We were molded into something beautiful, but the treasures we are filled with make us who we are; they make us meaningful. Otherwise we are empty shells, adorned with earthly elegance but dry and bare behind the façade. An empty mug accomplishes nothing, regardless of its outward appearance. It is simply there. Filled mugs fulfill their purpose.
The question now stands, who is more full, me or my mug, and I urge you to ask yourself the same question.