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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Cup - 10-25-12 Deadline (10/18/12)

TITLE: Glass Half Full
By Lois Farrow


Brian reached for a mug from the shelf. While waiting for the kettle to boil he studied the picture on the front, a narrow path leading through lush green foliage, across the fields, and towards the bright light in the far distance. As usual, he put himself into the picture.

“Here I am Lord,” he said, “with my face towards you and joy in my heart. Thank you, Lord.”

It hadn’t always been this way. On the back of the shelf stood an old black mug, a symbol of what he had once been, a miserable and bitter young man. One-time friends deserted him as they tired of his moaning, negative attitudes.

“You’re a glass-half-empty person,” they told him. “You’re never happy. You always see the dark side of things, but you’ve got so much to be thankful for.”

Brian couldn’t see anything to be thankful for. It seemed everyone was against him, and was it his fault that his car broke down, that he never had enough money, that he couldn’t keep a job. No, it was the lousy boss, or the rough roads that were harsh on his car, or that waitress who wouldn’t go out with him. Why was everyone against him?

He was experiencing the truth of the words of Ella Wheeler Wilcox:
Rejoice and men will seek you;
Grieve and they turn and go
They want full measure of all your pleasure
But they do not need your woe.

He couldn’t quite pin down the time the transformation began. Perhaps it was when those guys from youth group came around and helped him clear up his flat. Perhaps it was that tract the guy in the city centre handed him one day. Perhaps it was that sermon his friend, Mike, took him to hear about the grace of God.

“You’ve been saved by grace,” the preacher had said. “Now live by grace. God is there to help you every step of the way. Don’t hold grudges and unforgiveness against anybody. After all, God doesn’t hold your sins against you.”

Brian saw his life as it was, miserable and sad. He determined to make use of his time between jobs to study God’s word, really study, not just pick a verse from here or there, but to actually read it, try to understand, and apply it to his own life.

“Lord, I want to believe what you say,” he prayed. “Please guide me and help me to believe.”

He looked up verses on being thankful, and was surprised at what he found. In everything give thanks, he read, be thankful for everything. Everything? Well, that hadn’t been his way. His habit was to grumble and complain about everything. He determined to change.

Step by step his life had been transformed. Oh, it didn’t look like much change from the outside, he still didn’t have a job, or a girlfriend, or much money. But his attitudes had changed. Every day he looked for things he could be thankful for. Every morning when he woke he thanked God for his love and forgiveness, for his grace and mercy. He found himself laughing more as he looked for the funny side of things, instead of focusing on the doom and gloom around him.

Mike flung open the door and loped into his flat.

“Hey, Brian,” he said. “Can I have a coffee with you?” He slapped him on the back and reached for a cup to make his drink. “It’s a pleasure to come over these days, now you’re a glass-half-full guy, instead of that old moaner we used to know.”

“Ha,” laughed Brian, lifting up his own cup. “Glad you’ve noticed. By the way, isn’t it a glorious day out there?”

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This article has been read 166 times
Member Comments
Member Date
C D Swanson 10/25/12
Great job with this entry, and wonderful message.
Thanks. God bless~
Marie Hearty 10/25/12
Don't we all know people like this... who are constantly negative and want to blame everything on everybody? I just had to break up with my boyfriend 3 days ago because he was just this kind of person. I felt God was telling me that I needed to get away from that negativity if I was to move forward in Him. I loved how you made your MC be transformed by the power of Jesus, and it was great to see him so joyful. Great story.

God Bless!
Myrna Noyes10/26/12
Great message in this story, and one I needed reinforced in my own life this week! I especially liked the line: "You've been saved by grace, Now live by grace." Blessings on your writing! :)
Ellen Carr 10/27/12
A good story with a good message that we all need to take note of at times lest we slip into negativity. Thanks.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 11/01/12
This is an interesting story. I really liked that you quoted a Bible verse that didn't have the word cup in it. (Though make sure at the end you add the reference for the verse--if you do it as a footnote it doesn't count towards your word count) You also did a nice job of bringing the story full circle. It was a pleasure to read.