Recently, my dad sent me a video. It relayed an account of a group of alumni, highly established in their careers, who chose to reunite at their old university professor’s home.
The old professor listened to everyone recount their experience with life, the stress of work, society and family. Offering his guests coffee, the Professor disappeared into the kitchen.
He returned with a large pot of coffee and an assortment of cups: porcelain, glass, plastic etc. After everyone had a cup in hand, the professor said if you noticed, all the beautiful and expensive cups have been taken, leaving behind the cheaper ones.
While its normal to only want the best for yourself in life, that is the source of your problems and stress. Be assured that the cup itself adds nothing to the quality of the coffee, he said.
In most cases it is just more expensive and in some cases even hides what we drink. What all of you really wanted was the coffee but you consciously went for the best cups. And then afterwards, you began eyeing each others cups.
Now consider this, life is the coffee.. The jobs, money and positions in society are the cups. They are merely tools to hold and contain life, and the kind of cup we have does not define, or change the quality of life we live.
Sometimes, by concentrating on the cup, we fail to enjoy the coffee. Savor the coffee, not the cups!
I found the video quite instructive. In an era where success is measured by the cars we drive, people we date, places we live etc more than ever before, we are willing to throwaway our coffee in exchange for a fanciful cup.
We do not mind being empty as long as we hold the best cup amidst colleagues, friends and family. It is little wonder then that depression, oppression, frustration etc are prevalent in our lives today. Symptoms that we savor the cup more than the coffee.
Just to be sure, there is no correlation between the best cups and the best lives. We have a choice to make. To live simply or be complex. To love generously or be filled with jealousy and resentment. To care deeply or be caught in selfishness. To speak kindly or break the spirit of people we encounter with our words.
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in his ability to meet your most pressing needs and do exceedingly more than you can think or ask of Him. Amen.