“How do you like my bucket?”
“(Pause) Hmmm. That bucket looks alright, on the outside. Is it working for you?”
“Actually, I haven’t tried it out, yet. Heck, let’s give it a trial-run,” … he picks up a water hose, turns it on, and points the end of the hose into the bucket. Water comes flowing out, into the bucket).
We both watch the bucket, and immediately water comes out of the bottom of the bucket; three or four different streams. Apparently, there are holes in the bottom of the bucket. The owner, and the custodian, of the bucket is no longer enthused about his “new” bucket. Now, he is concerned, confused, a bit angry, and embarrassed about his bucket. I speak into the uncomfortable silence: “You have bucket problems. In fact, you have holes in your bucket. (Pause) What were you going to use that bucket for, anyway?”
“I was going to pour my energy into this bucket. I was planning on the bucket giving back to me, joy and relief from the hardships in this world, a place to escape for a while.”
In the realm of addictions, individuals pour their hearts and their energy into buckets with holes at the bottom. But, the bucket never gets full. I have quoted from three of Gerald May’s books numerous times in my writing. Now, I think of a word / concept May used in his book Addiction and Grace: “attachments”, which he often uses interchangeably with the word “addictions”. “Attachments” connects with us more effectively than “addictions”. We get attached to ______________ (consider filling in the blank, even it it is regarding someone other than yourself). The buckets that we use, sometimes, are deceptive. We might believe that that there is joy, meaning, relief, to be found in that bucket. But unless we rely on God, most buckets have holes, toward the bottom. The desperate sojourner responds by continuing to fill up that bucket, even though whatever we put into that bucket is simply coming out of the bottom.