I recently heard a little metaphor which reminded me that having the right attitude makes all the difference, not just for me but also for the people around me. The next time you pour yourself a cup of coffee, consider this comparison:
All the hardships and the tough situations of life are like a boiling pot of water. We can be like the egg who encounters the boiling water and hardens. We can be like the potato who spends time in the boiling water and turns to mush. Or we can be like the coffee bean, who enters the boiling water and changes the water.
The main difference between these pantry staples and us, is that we have a choice about how we respond to the boiling waters that we sometimes find ourselves in. Chances are that everyone reading this blog has some water that is currently boiling with work or school stress, medical uncertainties, or family dysfunction. No one can escape hardship on this side of heaven, but individually, we get to decide how we respond to those hardships. We can let tough circumstances break us down like the potato and turn us into less than God intends us to be, becoming less useful to those around us or even helpless and allowing others to take control of the situation for us. The opposite reaction to hardship is to allow it to harden us like the egg, shutting out those around us and forgetting about the power of being in community to heal and provide purpose. The final choice when we find ourselves in a tough situation, is to be like the coffee bean and transform the situation for the better just by being ourselves and keeping all things in perspective. The choice to smile is infectious and can improve the mood of a room just a little. The choice to look for the silver lining can inspire others to find additional bright spots in a dark room. The choice to love those that don’t deserve it, can change hearts and heal wounds.
I know I won’t get it right every time, but I’m sure going to try to have less egg and potato days and more coffee days…because who wouldn’t love more coffee?