Monday, September 18, 2006

A Cup of Coffee

I received this from a dear friend and thought it was worth sharing.

A group of alumni, highly established in their careers, got together to visit their old university professor. The conversation soon turned into complaints about stress in work and life.

Offering his guests coffee, the professor went to the kitchen and returned with a large pot of coffee and an assortment of cups - porcelain, plastic, glass, crystal, some plain-looking, some expensive, and some exquisite - telling them to help themselves to the coffee.

After all the students had a cup of coffee in hand, the professor said:

"If you noticed, all the nice looking expensive cups were taken up, leaving behind the plain and cheap ones. While it is but normal for you to want only the best for yourselves, that is the source of your problems and stress.

Be assured that the cup itself adds no quality to the coffee. In most cases, it’s just more expensive and in some cases even hides what we drink. What all of you really wanted was coffee, not the cup, but you consciously went for the best cups and then began eyeing each other's cups.

Now consider this: Life is the coffee, and the jobs, money and position in society are the cups. They are just tools to hold and contain life, and the type of cup we have does not define nor change the quality of life we live. Sometimes, by concentrating only on the cup, we fail to enjoy the coffee God has provided us."

God brews the coffee, not the cups . . . enjoy your coffee!

Why is it we always want to be and have the best of everything. Jesus tells us in scripture "If anyone wants to be first, he must be the very last, and the servant of all." The world tells us we are number one, put ourselves before others because we must take care of ourselves first and that what matters most is that we are "happy".

This boggles the mind... how can we be "happy" if we never give others a second thought, if we don't put others before ourselves, if things and always having the best things are the most important things in our lives. I believe that true contentment comes from putting others before yourself, stepping back and letting others be first, serving others, I could go on. There is a lot of truth to the old saying it's better to give than to receive. I am always extremely blessed when I do something for others. And for me, it is much more exciting to give others gifts than to receive them. Don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to put myself upon a pedestal. I love to get gifts! But there is just something about seeing the excitement in someone's eyes when they open a gift from you. Especially when it's your kids!

True joy comes from living a life centered on Christ and living as he lived, serving others. Whatever shape or form that service may be in. Christ gave up his life for us, it seems like the least we could do is give up a few "things".

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