Welcome to Daily SPARC – each weekday our chaplains, friends from the Penn Religious Communities Council and other voices from campus will be posting messages of support and encouragement.

Today’s message is shared by Elana Burack, C’19:


In times of uncertainty, we often become overwhelmed thinking about matters we don’t have control over. This reflection really resonated with me and encouraged me to make an intentional shift to focus on the internal and ask, “What can I control right now?”

A message relevant to today, adapted by Eli Duetsch, authored by Aliceson Waller:

You are holding a cup of coffee when someone bumps into your arm, making you spill your coffee everywhere.

Why did you spill the coffee?

“Well because someone bumped into me, of course!”

Wrong answer.

You spilled the coffee because there was coffee in your cup.

Had there been tea in the cup, you would have spilled tea.

Whatever is inside the cup, is what will spill out.

Therefore, when life comes along and shakes you (i.e. now), whatever is inside you will come out. It’s easy to fake it, until you get rattled.

So we have to ask ourselves… “what’s in my cup?”

When life gets uncomfortable, what spills over?

Patience, peace and humility?

Or resentment, bitterness, harsh words, panic, and reactions?

You choose!

Today let’s work towards filling our cups with harmony, acceptance, brotherhood, calmness, inner security, trust in God, strength, and vulnerability.