Half full? Or half empty? How we view our glass of life changes our perspectives. I tend to be a glass-half-full person. I keep a joyful attitude by focusing on what I have, rather than what I don’t have. When I view the glass as half empty, however, the results are disastrous.
When a winter storm battered my community, I tossed and turned all night, hearing the freezing rain and sleet drumming on the roof and windows. I worried about the slippery roads I’d have to maneuver on my commute to work at the local high school. Finally, unable to sleep, I got up in the pre-dawn dark to watch the weather on television. I hoped school would be cancelled so I could stay home safe, warm, and able to sleep. Watching, I learned an inch of ice and sleet had fallen. Travel was treacherous. When I looked out the window, I saw the street glistening from its icy coating. I saw danger and a half empty glass.
The alphabetized list of school closings appeared on the television. Anxiously, I watched it scroll across the bottom, waiting for “Wichita” to appear: Andover, Augusta, Derby, Goddard, Haysville, Maize, Pratt, Valley Center, Wellington…. No “Wichita”! Every school district was closed except one, mine! I huffed about, upset that I had to venture out in the dangerous weather. I couldn’t see one drop of joy in my glass.
Anger bubbled as I anticipated the icy drive. Why had our superintendent decided to keep school open? Along with anger, I worried: getting safely to school, students driving on ice, scraping a one-inch layer of ice off my car, and driving 15 miles home in rush hour traffic.
Driving on the slippery streets, I gripped the steering wheel and prayed my car would stay on the road. After a forty-five minute commute, instead of the usual 15, I walked gingerly across the ice-covered parking lot, grumbling to myself.
When the bell rang, only one third of my students were present. School was in session, but little was accomplished because so few attended. Not a drop covered the bottom of my glass. Frustrated and tired, I fretted and complained. After school, I left early to beat the afternoon traffic. Still grumbling and complaining, I scraped windows in the bitter cold. As I pulled out of the parking lot, however, my attitude changed. At last, I began to see my glass full.
The low winter, late afternoon sun shone through the ice-covered world, changing the landscape into a magical fairyland. The dried winter grasses sparkled in the sun. The squares of ice-coated wire on the roadside fences glimmered and gleamed. The trees sparkled like huge crystal sculptures. Everything danced with light. Finally, I focused on what filled my glass. I forgot my frustrations and complaints as I viewed this breathtakingly beautiful world! All I could do was thank God and marvel at His winter beauty.
My spirits lifted and I rejoiced in the crystal world. I thought how my glass-half-empty, whiny attitude had clouded the entire day. With the light dancing on the ice, I drove home, thankful for so much: a good job, a warm house, a reliable car, and a God who opens my eyes to see beauty in every situation. His light shone through my grumbling, complaining attitude, letting me rejoice in the half-full glass. Joy shattered my complaints like ice crystals breaking off the tree branches.