Saturday, October 31, 2015

We Each Carry Two Buckets

I've always told couples that marriages work better when people come together with their happiness bucket already full and eager to share their joy supply with each other. Too often people enter a relationship with empty buckets, expecting the other to provide an endless supply of whatever they need.

Metaphorically speaking, each of us carries two buckets, one a gratitude pail and the other our garbage pail.
The gratitude bucket is one we need to keep filled to overflowing with abundant and amazing grace, representing all of the unearned benefits that make us truly rich. It represents the part of our life where we find our yoke easy and our burden light, and from which we have a surplus of God-given, grace-based assets to share.

In our garbage bucket we carry our grievances, griefs, grudges and losses. These are not inconsequential, and are not to be ignored, but we want to carry them only as long as necessary to deposit them to a safe place for closure and healing. Garbage is viewed as something that needs to be taken out regularly for composting, while we practice the hygiene of regularly keeping its container as clean and flushed out as possible.

Of course, when it comes to our relationships, we support each other in dealing with our distresses as well as blessing each other with our abundance.

I recently ran across a letter a father wrote to his 13-year-old daughter when she was dealing with a crushing disappointment. He wrote, "...when momentary unhappiness befalls us, we pause only long enough to tidy up our hearts, and then we continue on wiser and better equipped for the much rougher road ahead."

She kept that note in her wallet for the rest of her life.

"This most generous God who gives seed to the farmer that becomes bread for your meals is more than extravagant with you. He gives you something you can then give away, which grows into full-formed lives, robust in God, wealthy in every way, so that you can be generous in every way, producing with us great praise to God."
II Corinthians 9:10 (the Message)
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