Wednesday, October 7, 2015
When Buckets, Balls, and Bailing Out Matter
By Micky Wolf
If I had a nickel for every time the word bucket has appeared in recent days, I’d have enough change to make a fair sized clinking in the bottom of said container.
Then there’s the growing stack of baseballs and tennis balls on the cabinet next to the door leading in from our garage. We don’t use them, mind you.
I’ll get to the bailing our part in a moment, but what intrigues me is how each of these can mean something entirely different to you and me, given our present state in life.
They come in all sizes, although they share a similar shape. Containers with a handle. Plastic or steel. They have been designed for a simple purpose: to carry stuff from one place to another, or to mix and pour. Solids or liquids, the basic bucket comes in handy for a variety of tasks. Who, among us, doesn’t have at least one of these stuck away in a cabinet or sitting on a shelf in the backyard shed?
Apart from toting, buckets take on a different meaning in the context of lists. This concept, made ever so popular by a couple of loveable blokes in a rib tickling, successful movie a few years back, involves writing down your I’ve-got-to-do-try-this-before-I-kick-it dreams and desires.
But that wasn’t enough for them, or by association, us. The real fun and satisfying joy comes when we actually decide to take action and turn those jots and tittles into reality—before our last breath.
There’s something about a steel bucket that makes me smile. Maybe I’m nostalgic for a bygone era.
At the same time, there’s also something very positive and life-giving about deciding to make note of the things you hope to experience before you die. And then taking action.
That stack I referred to earlier has been unintentionally gifted to us by the college boys across the street who seem unaware of the power they wield when swinging a bat or a racket. Thankfully (at least as of this date) none have gone sailing through our front picture window.
Balls aren’t just for kids. Maybe the golf course is your particular sport of choice (torture?).
Or, more to your style, spending an afternoon in the stands to cheer on a son or daughter at a football game or tennis match. Or, it could be the moments that bring a smile when you toss a whiffle ball with a grandchild.
Apart from tossing and catching, balls take on a different meaning in the context of juggling. Not the street corner magician kind. I’m referring to those days (weeks?) when we try to see how many appointments, commitments, and to dos we can keep in the air at one time.
A visual that immediately surfaces here is the practical necessity—hopefully on rare occasion—to use the aforementioned bucket. To repurpose the ankle deep water in the leaky boat or the flooded basement. Or to place under a newly forming stream of drip, drip, drips from the kitchen ceiling. (Never a good thing when you know an upstairs bathroom is overhead.)
Apart from rescuing people or things, we may periodically be tempted to bail out of life stuff. A certain work related situation. A particularly difficult or abusive relationship. An unplanned or unexpected pregnancy.
So, given a bucket, a ball or the need to bail, how’s your life going these days?
Here’s the good news—regardless of what you are thinking and feeling right now, you can rest assured your circumstances will change. The ongoing challenge is learning to embrace both the pleasant and not-so-pleasant as opportunities to grow and be transformed.
What really matters—whether we are at the beginning, in the middle, or approaching the end of our journey—is how we accept and make the most of each precious moment.
It’s a Divine principle. One grounded in Truth and Love. Joy. Sadness. Peace. Pain. All of it can be of value in helping us become the person God has created us to be.