The Cup


A familiar test to determine whether you’re an optimist or pessimist is to look at a glass containing water.

Is the glass half full? Or half empty?

Half full? Optimist.  Half empty? Pessimist.

We understand that the optimist views life from a positive perspective, whereas the pessimist views life from a negative perspective.

But I’m an engineer…so the cup is neither half-full or half-empty–it is twice as big as it needs to be, haha!  I digress…

I’ve been reading Orthodoxy by G.K. Chesterton.  He’s a Catholic writer and apologist.  Very smart and learned man.  He has an essay in Orthodoxy where he reflects on the optimist and pessimist and how does the Christian fit into either or identify with either.  And he makes the case that the Christian is neither optimist or pessimist.  While I won’t go into a lengthy blog post examining his arguments and literary style because I’m not in English IV AP anymore…I just wanted to share a thought that popped in my head regarding optimism, pessimism, and Christianity.

You see, the Christian doesn’t view the cup as half-full or half-empty.  I think the Christian views the cup as necessitating it to be empty before it can be full.  But when the cup is full, it must be emptied again.  Just thinking back to Jesus’ last hours as one example…He completely emptied Himself so that our lives may be full in Him.  When we truly love as God calls us to love, we have to completely empty ourselves in order that we may be fulfilled.

And I just realized…the cup shouldn’t be stagnant.  The cup has to be completely empty before it is completely filled.  The cup has to be completely filled in order to be completely emptied.  The Christian is neither optimist nor pessimist for he or she knows that the life will have its ebb and flow of emptiness and fulfillment.

Haha, if that makes any sense whatsoever to you…

Hmm, this is worth reflecting on some more.

What do you think?

Faith. Hope. Charity. Engineering cups.
– JD