They sat on the bench beside the pond. The grandfather sighed as he inhaled the clean air, the granddaughter, a young adult, basked in the Sun's warmth. Both did what people do when sitting on a bench by the pond. They pondered.
Later they shared some thoughts. This couple revealed some insights about one another. They were pleased to be together on such a day. Lucy, using her vivid imagination, spoke of the scene she saw in the clouds that had floated by in the big blue sky. "I saw a castle, and the tower, and the damsel in distress, the fire eating dragon, and then the knights on valiant steeds coming to the rescue," she said.
Grampa Charles smiled, saying, "All I saw was my bathtub ducky floating by." (Apologies to Charles Schultz and The Gospel According to Peanuts.)
They wandered deeper into thoughtful conversation."Is the glass half empty or is it half full?" is what they pondered.
For philosophers the question is deep and time consuming. For the rest of us, it is a question of optimism or pessimism. Many people view their lives as only half full. They strive for more: more material items, more toys, more love, more time, more life. Others find satisfaction in the way their lives have unfolded, the great opportunities they’ve experienced, and the good fortune that they’ve enjoyed.
For the vast number of people on planet Earth there is no possibility of pondering a half glass, a half life, full or empty.
They have no glass. They have no cup. They have no vessel. They worry about today’s food. They live in overcrowded refugee camps, no hope of escape. They are too sick to contemplate that there is goodness in life as they lay dying.
It is my opinion that in God's Creation, we human beings are not meant to debate whether we are a half a container.
We are, all of us, meant to be full, to be fulfilled and creative, to be sharing in the goodness of the resources of life, to be a part of the Creator's wonderful work.
Chapter One in the Book of Genesis, God creates humankind. "In the image of God, God created them, male and female God created them."
And God looked and saw that this was so good. "God don't make no junk," is an old saying. that we humans ought not forget.
Isaiah, 64-8, says of God, "Yet, O Lord, you are our Father; we are the clay, and you are the potter." As vessels of God's making, we humans have been given life with a purpose. We have not been thrown away. We are alive.
The Psalmist tells us in Psalm 23, "You prepared a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you have anointed my head with oil; my cup overflows." Can we not appreciate the abundant goodness of life, and share that goodness with all? There is enough for everyone. We do not need to keep half in reserve or any for that matter.
The Apostle Paul wrote about our human bodies being God's temple, God's vessel here in our earthly life. "Do you not know that you are God's temple and that God's Spirit dwells in you?" (1 Corinthians 3:16)
Perhaps Jesus' prayer in the Garden on that last night brings our good fortune, or our poor lot in life, into focus. "And going a little farther, Jesus threw himself on the ground, and prayed that, if it were possible, the hour might pass from him. He said, Abba, Father, for you all things are possible; remove this cup from me; yet not what I want, but what you want." (Mark 14:35-36)
With that, the grandfather and the granddaughter finished pondering down by the pond. They went home to live each day fully.
In these pandemic days, with the excess time you now may have, when and what do you ponder? There is a pond and a bench for you to sit upon and use to contemplate the mysteries of life.
By Lana 2011