Monday, March 30, 2009

The Carrot, the egg and the coffee

by: Theodore Tan
A daughter complained to her father about her life and how things were so hard for her. She said, "Father, I do not know how I am going to make it. I just feel like giving up. I'm tired of fighting and struggling. It seems as though every time one of my problems is solved, a new one comes along. I just can't take it anymore."

Her father took her to the kitchen. He filled three pots with water and placed them each on high heat. Soon, the pots came to a boil. In one pot of boiling water, he placed carrots. In the second, he placed eggs, and in the last pot, he placed coffee beans. He let them sit and boil, without saying a word. The daughter impatiently waited, wondering what he was doing.

Twenty minutes later, he turned off the burners. He strained the water from the carrots and placed them in a bowl. He lifted the eggs out and placed them in another bowl. Then he ladled the steaming coffee into a bowl. Turning to her, he asked, "What do you see?" "Carrots, eggs, and coffee," she replied. He brought her closer and asked her to feel the carrots. She did and noted that they were soft and mushy. He then asked her to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard-boiled egg. Finally, he asked her to sip the coffee. She smiled as she tasted its flavor and smelled the rich aroma. She humbly asked, "But what does it mean, Father?"

He explained that each of them had been plunged into boiling water, but each had reacted differently. The carrot went into the water strong and hard but after being subjected to the boiling water; it softened and became weak. The egg had been fragile. Its thin outer shell had protected its soft, liquid interior. But after sitting in the boiling water, it became hard on the inside.

The ground coffee beans were unique, however. After they were in the boiling water, the water did not really change them. THEY CHANGED THE WATER! "Which are you?" the father gently asked his daughter.

"When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you more like a carrot, an egg, or a coffee bean?"

How about you? Are you the carrot that started out strong and hard long ago, but with the pain and adversity of your life struggles, did you become soft and lose your strength?

Are you the egg that started out soft on the inside? Were you a fluid spirit, but after the pain of death, abuse, rejection, poor health, divorce, or a layoff, have you become hardened? Your outer shell might look the same, but have you become hard-boiled and toughened in your spirit and your heart?

Or are you like the coffee bean? The bean that was plunged into the rapidly boiling water actually changed the hot water and gave it flavor and aroma, reaching its peak flavor at 212° Fahrenheit! THAT IS HOT WATER!!!

When people say bad things about you, do your praises to the Lord continues, or do you blame Him? When the hour is darkest and your trials are their greatest, does your worship elevate to a higher level, or do you desert Him? When you feel burdened by your own troubles, do you still reach out and help others? How do you handle adversity? Are you a carrot, an egg, or a coffee bean?

When you are plunged into hot water, into anything that brings you pain, like being immersed in the adversities of life, be like the coffee bean. When things are at their worst, you will get stronger and make things better around you, and? YOU will always leave an aroma that's most pleasing to others as well as to yourself.

How do you deal with trials and failures? Do you become weak, hard on the inside, or do you try to influence the outcome of the situation that you are faced with? Think about it. :)

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