Musing on a Glass of Water

The optimist sees a glass half full.

The pessimist sees a glass half empty.

The cynic sees a glass with dirty water.

The realist wonders if you poured into the glass or out of the glass.

The philosopher would ponder if there really is a glass with anything in it.

The scientist sees a 500ml glass with 250ml of liquid.

The physicist would say that the volume of this cylinder is divided into two equal parts; one a colorless, odorless liquid, the other a colorless, odorless gas. Thus the cylinder is neither full nor empty. Rather, each half of the cylinder is full, one with a gas, one with a liquid.

The seasoned drinker would say that the glass doesn’t have enough ice in it.

The plumber checks for a leak.

The engineer sees a glass that is twice as big as it needs to be.

The banker would say that the glass has just under 50% of its net worth in liquid assets.

The agnostic doesn’t seem to care either way.

The Christian sees a lack of joy.

People only see what they are prepared to see. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Reading Between the Lines

Life can be stressful at times. Wow what a shocking revelation! (if this is a revelation to you please contact me and let me know how you do it) Life in America tends to high-paced. You work and you work and you work some more to provide the best for your family, for yourself, and for others. I know I fall victim to this mind set. I tend to not only light my candle on both ends but figure why not light it in the middle as well. We tend, as life gets busy and hectic, to begin to view life as one goal after another. If I can just make it through monday I will be fine. If I can just make it through mid-terms, finals, this paper, that project; life will get back to normal. What begins to happen is that lifestyle becomes normal. I know at times my lines become cups of coffee; if I can just make it to the next cup of coffee.

This happens in church life as well; if I can just make it through the Christmas production, the Easter production; if I can just make it to my next paycheck. We begin to get used to the lines we are determining our life by. One by one they add up. I know I begin to feel trapped, as if those determined lines are creating the bars in my jail cell.

We become so focused on each line we forget about the white space in the middle. We don’t live for today and enjoy the blessings that are found in the space between the lines. We tend to do this as Christians as well. We are so focused on heaven we forget about the here and now. We become so wrapped up in the afterlife that we don’t pay attention to life. Let me qualify this by saying that it’s not inherently bad. As Christians we have a perfected eternity to look forward to but I fear that it becomes the only thing we focus on. We sing about it in church, we talk about it when the news is bleak, and we forget that we are called to make a difference here on earth. Our life is a gift and we can’t forget that the time between the lines is just as important (if not more so) than the lines themselves. Tomorrow is never guaranteed.

So let us try our best to not define our days, weeks, months, and years by what’s next on our agenda. Let’s take the time to stop and smell the roses as they say. If the sparrows don’t worry about the next meal and the flowers of the field don’t care about the next church production then maybe we as Christians can live between the lines as well.