Thought for the Week

Sister Rosemarie Goins, CSSF

The Mystery of the Dipper and the Bucket

We have all heard of the cup that overflows. Well, this story is about a bucket that is like that cup, only larger. Everyone has one. It is always with us. It often determines how we feel about ourselves, about others and how we get along with people. Have you ever experienced a series of favorable things that make you feel good all over for about a whole week? When this happens your bucket is full to overflowing.

A bucket is filled by a lot of things that happen. When a person speaks to you, recognizing you as a good human being, your bucket is filled a little more. If someone compliments you on a job well done, the level in your bucket goes up still higher. There are about a million ways to raise the level of your bucket.

But remember, this is a story about a bucket AND a dipper. Other people have dippers and they can get their dipper in your bucket. Let’s say you are having a bad day. You’re trying your best, but just falling short. Someone says behind your back, “She’s really making a mess out of things today!” Guess what, the level of your bucket just went down. Someone just put a dipper into your bucket.

Think about a time someone you know made a stupid mistake. He feels pretty bad about it. But then you have to go to point it out to him. You’ve got your dipper in his bucket. Buckets are emptied and filled. When a person’s bucket is empty, he/she can feel defeated, lonely, somewhat depressed.

The story of our lives is the interplay of the dipper and the bucket. Everyone has both. The mystery of the dipper and the bucket is that the only way we can fill our own bucket is to fill someone else’s. So, the next time someone is right about what may be wrong with you, and you already know it, you can say, “Hey, you’ve got your dipper in my bucket!” Or when you hear others “dipping” somebody, you can say, “Take your dipper out of his bucket; we should be filling his bucket instead of dipping.”

There are a million ways we can fill a bucket and just about as many to dip. You choose!

One way to fill our bucket is to “believe in the one God has sent – Jesus…I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me will never hunger, and whoever believes in me will never thirst.”    John 6:35 In Paul’s letter to the Ephesians 4: 7, 20-24 he says, “be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and put on the new self, created in God’s way in righteousness and holiness of truth.”  This is the path to choose to fill up the buckets of others with joy, compassion, love and encouragement, because that which overflows from our buckets can fill others.

The Transfiguration of the Lord occurs on Monday.  Jesus knew that Peter, James and John needed a little extra assurance in their mission, so he arranged a vision of himself conversing with Moses and Elijah, which is called the Transfiguration.  Jesus sure knew how to fill their buckets.

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