Coffee

CoffeeA young woman went to her mother and told
her about her life and how things were so hard for her.  She did not know how she was going to make it
and wanted to give up, She was tired of fighting and struggling.

It seemed as one problem was solved, a new
one arose. Her mother took her to the kitchen. 
She filled three pots with water and placed each on a high fire. 

Soon the pots came to boil.  In the first she placed carrots, in the
second she placed eggs, and in the last she placed ground coffee beans. She let
them sit and boil; without saying a word. In about twenty minutes she turned
off the burners. She fished the carrots out and placed them in a bowl.  She pulled the eggs out and placed them in a
bowl.  Then she ladled the coffee out and
placed it in a bowl. 

Turning to her daughter, she asked, ‘Tell
me what you see.’ ‘Carrots, eggs, and coffee,’ she replied. Her mother brought
her closer and asked her to feel the carrots. 
She did and noted that they were soft. 
 The mother then asked the
daughter to take an egg and break it. 
After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard boiled egg. Finally,
the mother asked the daughter to sip the coffee.  The daughter smiled as she tasted it and
smelled its rich aroma. 

The daughter then asked, ‘What does it
mean, mother?’ Her mother explained that each of these objects had faced the
same adversity: boiling water.  Each
reacted differently. The carrot went in strong, hard, and unrelenting.  However, after being subjected to the boiling
water, it softened and became weak.  The
egg had been fragile.  Its thin outer
shell had protected its liquid interior, but after sitting through the boiling
water, its inside became hardened.  The
ground coffee beans were unique, however. 
After they were in the boiling water, they had changed the water.

‘Which are you?’ she asked her
daughter.  ‘When adversity knocks on your
door, how do you respond?  Are you a carrot,
an egg or a coffee bean?  

Think of this: Which am I?  Am I the carrot that seems strong, but with
pain and adversity do I wilt and become soft and lose my strength? Am I the egg
that starts with a malleable heart, but changes with the heat?  Did I have a fluid spirit, but after a death,
a breakup, a financial hardship or some other trial, have I become hardened and
stiff?  Does my shell look the same, but
on the inside am I bitter and tough with a stiff spirit and hardened heart? Or
am I like the coffee bean?  The bean
actually changes the hot water, the very circumstance that brings the
pain. 

When
the water gets hot, it releases the fragrance and flavor.  If you are like the bean, when things are at
their worst, you get better and change the situation   around you. 
When the hour is the darkest and trials are their greatest do you   elevate yourself to another level?  How do you handle adversity?  Are you a carrot, an egg or a coffee bean?

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