Another year. Another Thanksgiving. Another gathering with family and friends to share a meal, to spend time together and to think about our lives. For many it is around the table that gratitude is expressed. Today is a great opportunity to reflect on where we have been and where we are going. Today is a good day to pause and think about how we view the blessings in our lives.
At a recent dinner one of our friends was sharing a story about a grandfather and his seven-year-old granddaughter. For some reason as the child’s grandfather was pouring the child some water he decided to test the “is the glass half-full or half-empty” theory on her. After the grandfather asked, the child pondered for moment and then said, “Depends on whether you are the one pouring the water or waiting to drink it.”
What a profound answer.
I know that I have to continually reframe my thinking to see life as “half-full”. Generally I am a half-full person but if I am tired, hungry or anxious I will start seeing life through a “half-empty, unfair, why am I the only one…” whining lens. Totally ridiculous and totally untrue. It is at those times that I need to step back, recharge and regroup in order to see the entire picture- all the blessings that I have undeservedly received.
When it comes to the water in the glass, the volume of liquid is the same whether it is half-full or half-empty. To use the commonly over-used expression, “it is what it is.” I cannot change the amount. What I have before me is just that- nothing more, nothing less.
What I like about the granddaughter’s response is a new take on the age old question. In the past, the question has been asked with the intention of what the viewer, as a third-person narrative, thinks. The question does not really ask if the glass is yours or not. It is a passive question. This new spin on the question has us ask with a first-person narrative- if we are the ones who are involved, how do we view the glass? What is our active participation with the glass? What is our attitude if we are providing the water? What is our attitude if we know that water is coming?
I know that when I am in a position to “pour out” blessings to others, I am more likely to be in a positive and helpful mood. I want to be able to provide blessing, assistance, or aide to others. “Pouring out” blessing almost always has me seeing the provision as half-full. And not only that specific provision, but other things as well. When I am feeling that I can bless others, I start to see the many blessings others have been poured out for me. It is in the act of my blessing that I begin to see blessing all around me.
When I am active as one waiting for the glass to be poured, I have an expectation that needs will be met. I am waiting for whatever comes into the glass. I don’t think of being short-changed (by half-empty or half-full) but grateful for what is in the glass. My thirst will be quenched. I can be grateful for the blessings because they are for me. They are not in comparison of what others have received.
On this day of Thanksgiving, what, “it is what it is” in your life? What are the things that are in your glass? Life? Health? Shelter? Money? Family? Friends? God? Material possessions? Job? Career? Respect in your community? Influence? Honor? Integrity? Love? Relationships?
On this day of Thanksgiving, what are the blessings in your life- whether they are ones you have “poured” out to others or that you are waiting to receive?