You Are a Drop in the Bucket

My daily journal writing generally follows the same format. I record and review what happened the day before, and then reflect on any lessons or insights I have learned. I finish by asking God, “What would you have me know today?” While this routine has provided me with a treasured keepsake of memories, it has also become an essential centering practice for my day ahead.

But every so often I become quite anxious and sad about the troubles of the world, so my words spill out into several paragraphs of frustration, grief, and anger. Yesterday was one such day. I then followed this rant with my daily question, “God, what would you have me know today?” This is the surprising answer I received:

“You cannot fix this, Karen.”

At first, these words hurt! My deep sorrow and sense of futility grew. But as I continued to think about this answer, I gradually began to feel freer… and lighter.

The social, political, economic, and environmental troubles of the world are complex and deep-seated, with no simple solutions. Each time I feel compelled to address or solve these problems, their size and complexity often overwhelm and then immobilize me. I sigh, shrug, and resign myself that there is probably nothing I can do; my actions would only be “a drop in the bucket.”

With yesterday’s words, God began to free me of the burden of fixing, so I could carry the task of helping. This new perspective gave me the freedom and optimism to do what I can, while releasing to God what I cannot.

What can I do? If I bless one person each day I will have blessed 365 lives in one year. If I live my life with gracious care, generosity, and compassion, my example may inspire another to live this way, too. If I donate to an organization that supports worthy purposes, my meager funds will combine with the donations of many others. If I promote and vote for leaders who will work to care for all people and preserve God’s creation, my vote will join with the votes of many others who seek the same ideals.

We are all “drops in the bucket,” as the expression goes. Oh, some people may make a bigger splash or provide more water than the rest of us. But every single drop is needed – ours included – to completely fill the bucket of abundant life for everyone. Each of us has been created to live as one small drop of God’s universal goodness and love. May we learn to embrace and humbly live out this small but holy calling. And together, may we fill this earthly bucket to overflowing – with rivers of love, justice, compassion, and care – for ALL of God’s creation.

Photo by David Becker on Unsplash

4 Comments on “You Are a Drop in the Bucket

  1. I so want to tell you that this is your “best ever”…but I can’t because that would be a lie. Everyday you write & share with us is your “best ever”, Thank you for blessing me with your raw openness & honesty about your frustration, anger & grief. Speaking for myself, I know I have those same feelings more often than I care to admit out loud. What I am learning is that it’s all about trusting God and letting go of all those emotions, knowing that God has a plan. As part of his plan, he just needs/expects/wants us to be that “one small drop of universal goodness and love”. For me, the hardest part of filling that bucket of his is the “letting go” of the ugly. It helps to know (and be reminded..thank you Karen!) that “one drop” at a time is enough for him!!


  2. I finally got to read your post! .Another touching, “ Soul Searching”. Karen, I got a similar answer from Jesus! l too feel anxious about these times and am worried about our Nation becoming changed forever, I have been feeling so helpless. Jesus said that is where my Faith comes in! He told me to Pray, Bless and Love and that’s how I am to do my “Part” ( is the operative word) to help fix it! Once again, His Peace filled my heart! You have passed on some Excellent ways to help achieve the Goal that ultimately is His Responsibility❣️
    Blessings Always! Keep listening and writing❣️🙏🙏😇


    • You DO shine with goodness, doing all you can to bless others, Pat! Thank you for reading, for encouraging, and for sharing God’s love in so many ways.


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