Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Philosophy: Three-Bucket Choices

Imagine three buckets:

bucket one = the things I can impact or change; for instance: if I feel fat, I can cut out junk food and sweets; if I should pray more, I can make time in each day to do so.

bucket two = the things I have some control over, but not complete control; for instance: I can follow the traffic rules, but if someone runs a red light, I don't have control over that. If my teen is not embracing the faith, all I can do is make sure the tools and resources are there and then just pray that the teen comes to it.

bucket three = the things I have absolutely no control over; for instance: the economy, the Congress, or whether or not our house will sell.

So, which bucket do you obsess over most?

I KNOW I tend to worry overmuch about third-bucket choices. It's easier to rant and rave about things I don't have control over; it's much more work to change the things I can! Think: the US economy vs my home-making budget -- which is easier for me to come up with solutions to fix!

Last night I attended one of the JPtheGreat theology lectures -- last night's topic was on grace and God's gifting of grace to us. Sr. Mary Brigid and Mr. Fonte did a fabulous tag-team job of explaining all about grace. Sr. MB was the one who had the three-bucket philosophy (courtesy of her mom). Here are some notes from last night's meeting ... and thus, the topic of this post!

  1. Grace is the indwelling of God in our souls and can only be given by God and accepted by each one of us.
  2. Grace is ALL about God's goodness and love and has nothing to do with our own pride.
  3. When we live in grace, love is the ONLY law.
  4. To receive grace from God, we must turn our hearts open to CONSENT and to EXPECT everything from God -- including the sale of the house ... or not!
  5. When we worry, we are not at peace -- a direct result of refusing or grasping at God's bountiful gifting of grace.
  6. Worry and fear don't take away tomorrow's pain; it just takes away today's strength.

Bottom-line -- I need to worry about 1st-bucket items, and to some extent 2nd-bucket items (I need to make sure my kids have all the tools, but if they don't want to learn, that is in their control, not mine), but never worry about 3rd-bucket items. Third-bucket items are those things that need my prayers, though ...

So, which bucket do you obsess over?

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