My cup runs over
Half full? Half empty? That evaluation of a partially filled glass is the classic way to measure whether a person is an optimist or pessimist.
Which are you? And what happens when somebody fills the glass SO full it overflows?
That's what David considers in Psalm 23 when he writes:
God can (and will) bless his people beyond their mere needs. He just will NOT stop!
[My guess, by the way is that the pessismist will gripe about the work cleaning up the over flow, while the optimist delights in the surplus - "aren't we LUCKY to have more than we need?"]
The mechanical process of creating the Klingon Language Version of the Bible involves a simple program that replaces English words with Klingon translations, one word at a time. When that works we get Klingon text arranged in English grammatical fashion - a pidgin Klingon that a translator can polish off. "wIj HIvje'," for "my cup" can be made grammatical by attaching the first person possesive suffix (wIj) to HIvje' (glass, or tumbler): Hivje'wIj becomes a good translation for the Hebrew koesee (my cup).
We're not as lucky with "runs over," since the word "qettaH" means "run or jog". "Dung" means overhead, and was used for the KLV purposes to mean something like "over there." 'My cup runs over there,' does not come too close to the Psalm. Keep this odd wordplay in mind - think of it as "my cup of blessing moves out." I'll come back to that in a moment.
A better translation would be buy'qu' (really full) - HIvje'wIj buy'qu', my cup is really full. Even better, there is a colloquial Klingon expression "buy' ngop" which literally means "the plates are full." It is a way to say "Great news!" A grammatical translation of Psalm 23 might well express the great news of God's generosity, "my cup runs over," with "buy' ngop."
Jesus said: I came that they may have life, and may have it abundantly. (John 10:10b). He wants our lives to be rich and full - not just good enough, but so complete that the bounty spills over! And St. Paul says God can do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think...(Eph. 3:20) God doesn't intend to give us a thimble full of grace.
Everyone does not have a life of overflowing bounty. Every believer does not experience this surplus of blessing. We don't know why - and even beginning to explore the reasons is beyond the scope of this word study.
But those of us who do experience "the cup that overflows" have a different question: what do I do about the spill? Maybe "my cup of blessing moves out" isn't such a bad translation after all.
The faith of the Bible is not a tribal faith. God may have begun with Abraham's family, but God's intention is clear: "All of the families of the earth will be blessed in you."(Genesis 12:3). Jesus made clear that the answer to "who is my neighbor" is EVERYONE. When Jesus gave marching orders he said "You will be witnesses to me in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the uttermost parts of the earth."
buy' ngop! GOOD news!
If your plate is full, if your cup really runs over, then gather it up. Take your blessings and share them to "the uttermost parts of the earth..."
Better yet, share them "'u' HeHDaq" to the edge of the Universe.
originally podcast 4/29/05