“You can’t receive if your hands are full.” - St. Augustine
“You can’t receive if your hands are full.” So true on so many levels.
This quote dates back to St. Augustine, but has been used throughout the ages (and rightfully so) to remind us that life is ready to give us gifts, to shower us in blessings. But accepting them is difficult when your hands are still holding on to old baggage. Just as you can’t pour from an empty pitcher, you can’t receive if your cup is full.
Next to me is a cup of hot coffee. It’s fresh, and it’s aroma wafts up to my nostrils. It calls out to me to take a sip and enjoy its richness and goodness. If I ignore it, what will happen? It will get cold and no longer be as enjoyable. I know myself, and a cold cup of coffee is not pleasing to me as it is for some. I know that if it gets cold I will dump it out in the sink and start over with a new, fresh cup.
Life needs to be enjoyed in the moment, if only because right now is where all the blessings are found.
But how can you enjoy them when your cup is filled with cold, stale coffee?
Are you carrying things around that have no real value or that no longer help you, but harm you even more? Maybe it’s time to free up some space in your life so that your palms can be wide open to receive all of life’s true treasures.
Last week my wife was helping someone pack up their house. Like most of us, they had a ton of useless stuff which they were holding onto “just in case.” Old phone chargers, video cassettes even though they had no VCR, Tupperware lids with no bottoms. You know the list because we all have that “junk drawer” in our homes, or a basement closet filled with boxes that have yet to be unpacked from the last move (I embarrassingly admit).
When it’s time to move on, that stuff becomes part of the overwhelming feeling hits you like a ton of boxes filled with old books you don't read or forgotten crap you don't need. Imagine if someone asked you to hold out your arms so they could stack it all up for you to carry out into the world. how much do you think you could hold on your own? How far would you get before you collapsed? That’s the problem with holding on to those things - they only hold you back!
You may not even know you are holding onto stuff until that time, the time to move on from hurt, or a bad relationship, a belief system, or even a home. It could be a “corporate environment” or an old “tradition” that is keeping you from moving forward towards the gift of life. It’s important to take the time to look within yourself and ask, “what do I need to get rid of so I can move on?”
Today is a great time to take an inventory of your life, to see what you are holding onto and what you might be willing to let go of. Life is looking to spoil you rotten, to give you your hearts desires. But you can’t receive if your hands are full.
What can you let go of today? What weight or burden is pressing on you that you can free yourself of? What person in your life is holding you back or placing more junk in your life? What addictions or behaviors are causing you to be that person for others?
Today is a good day to let it go, to drop it, say goodbye, and to just empty your cup and be filled with the rich blessings of life so you can become the person you were made to be. A beloved child.