April’s Parish Letter

I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.   I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.   I can do all this through Him who gives me strength. Philippians 4:11-13

Are you a half empty or a half full sort of person? When faced with difficulty or adversity do you feel discouraged helpless weak and defeated?

Why me?

Why now?

What next?

When people close to us experience loss or distress, do we “feel sorry for them” and embrace their hopelessness or is it possible to provide positive comfort and reassurance to them to help them through a difficult or troubling time?

It is too easy to avoid reaching out to someone, on the basis that our own glass is half empty or even run dry. It can be difficult to know what to say and we may be fearful of saying the “wrong thing” at the “wrong time”. Your problems may seem worse than theirs. Our good fortune and contentment, compared with their misfortune, could be regarded as gloating in the teeth of their current struggles.

Contentment and pleasure can be an elusive condition in this world of strife and pressures. It is too easy to lose sight of the comfort and pleasures that we have been blessed with and enjoyed at various times in our lives. Those precious memories of happy times, friends, family can be eclipsed by the drama and crisis of the moment so that life no longer holds the magic and joyful anticipation we crave or believe we deserve. I would venture to suggest that life is not about waiting for the storm to pass. It is more about learning to dance, with others, in the rain.

Following the joy and fulfilment of the Easter promise it beholds us to step back for a moment and reflect on the blessings we have received from God and all that He has bestowed upon us in our lives. The rich tapestry of all that we have experienced with God’s help, will provide us with the resilience and inner contentment to reach out and help others in filling their glass.

Perhaps it is not about whether the glass is half full or half empty but more about what is actually in the glass.

                                                                                       Carolyn Mellanby,                                                                                       Wendy, Shingay Group of Churches