Theology lessons from my coffee mug

Who Broke My Coffee Mug … And will God Restore it?

I was definitely ill and perhaps a bit delusional as I pondered two deep theological issues: One about heaven and one about blame.

It had been a rough day. As I mentioned, I was sick. And to make matters worse, I experienced an unexpected loss. As I unloaded our dishwasher that morning, my favorite Arkansas Razorbacks coffee mug fell from the cabinet shelf, shattered on the counter, and sent pieces large and small across the kitchen.

Audrey and I found this Razorback in Siena, Italy …

This led to my first theological pondering: Since we know that God makes all things new (Revelation 21:5), will I get a renewed Razorbacks mug in heaven?

I’m mourning the loss of my mug. I’d like to think God will make it whole again the way He restored my shattered life.

Then again, who can fathom the majesty of heaven? So I decided some research was in order. I Googled up an article by John Piper on this subject, and he mentions four ways God makes things new. One is “the new creation,” but – shockingly – he doesn’t address if that includes an Arkansas Razorbacks coffee mug. So for now, I’ll take comfort in the reality that I’ll either see my restored mug in heaven or something so much better that I’ll not even remember it.

My second theological issue centered on who/what broke the mug. You know, who is to blame?

I was putting other mugs into the cabinet when, weaken and delusional due to my illness, my normal near-perfect coordination went askew, causing me to nudge my Razorbacks mug off the shelf. So, obviously I didn’t break it – it didn’t break until it hit the counter; thus the counter broke it. Furthermore, any role I played should be absolved by the fact that I was, as they say, not my right self. Clearly the world owes me a new mug!

I was joking with myself, of course. But I also know that most of us are regularly guilty of blame shifting. Look around. Better yet, look in the mirror. Notice how often you make a mistake and explain it with a passive-voice sentence instead of an active-voice sentence.

Passive voice: The mug fell and broke.

Active voice: I broke the mug.

So here’s my reminder, to my delusional self, as well as to anyone else it might help: Take responsibility for your mistakes, seek forgiveness, walk in that forgiveness. Jesus can restore your shattered life. Stop worrying about broken coffee mugs. And, oh, yeah, and be more careful when you’re unloading the dishwasher!

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