Sunday, July 7, 2013

Carrots, Eggs or Coffee - Which are you?

A young woman went to her grandmother 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 that as one problem was solved, a new one arose. 

Her grandmother took her to the kitchen. She filled three pots with water and placed each on a high fire. Soon the pots came to a boil. In the first, she placed carrots, in the second she placed eggs, and 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 then 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 granddaughter, she asked, "Tell me, what do you see?" 

"Carrots, eggs, and coffee," she replied. 

She brought her closer and asked her to feel the carrots. She did and noted that they were soft. She then asked her to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard-boiled egg. Finally, she asked her to sip the coffee. The daughter smiled as she tasted its rich aroma. 

The granddaughter then asked, "What does it mean, Grandmother?" 

Her grandmother explained that each of these objects had faced the same adversity -- boiling water -- but 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 granddaughter. "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 a 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 of your life. If you are like the bean, when things are at their worst, you get better and change the situation around you. When the hours are the darkest and trials are their greatest, do you elevate to another level? 

How do you handle adversity? Are you changed by your surroundings or do you bring life, flavor, to them? 

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  1. I love this. What great advice!! :-)

  2. It is hard to say. I would like to think that my insides will not harden over time. I still want to feel. So the best personality or trait would be the beans to me - since it changed adversity to enhance itself, flex and made it work for both sides. Though that would be the hardest, I would like to keep that in my as a wisdom to achieve in life. Your post was thought provoking - thanks for making me pause a moment. :-)

  3. I think I would prefer to be the beans any chance I get. I would like to change adversity into mutual benefit for both sides. This is the hardest to do, but if I had a choice, I would want to use this trait as a guide in my life. What about you?

  4. Great comparisons! I sure don't want to turn into an old carrot or even an egg!

  5. Oh!! This is really nice post. And thanks for the advice:)

  6. Wonderful! I have to seen this before but I love it! Thanks for sharing it!

  7. I like to think I am like the coffee, but the truth is I can only be like the coffee with the grace of God. His Spirit gives me strength and focus, instruction and determination to change the situation around me when I go through trial and tribulation. Thank you for sharing this, it was a great way to start my day!

  8. What a beautiful story! I hope I'm like the coffee, it depends though!


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