No. 498



Thank you for taking the time to read my column today. It is my sincere
hope that I can share some thoughts with you that will make a difference in
your day. You may also have come to the conclusion that each day of our
lives is special because it means we have one less day to serve others, to
achieve a greater measure of success and happiness and to make a lasting
contribution for those who will follow after us. In this regard, here is my
sincere wish for you. May you have enough happiness to make you sweet,
enough trials to make you strong, enough sorrow to keep you human and enough
hope to make you happy.
The happiest of people do not necessarily have the best of everything;
they just make the best of everything that comes along their way. If we are
to be truly happy, and please understand there is a difference between
happiness and joy, we must learn to handle adversity. This is to say, the
trials and tribulations that come along in each of our lives. It has been
truthfully said that into every life a little rain must fall, not will fall,
but must fall. If you are not facing some adversity at this time in your
life, you can just thank the Lord, because there is adversity coming down
the road. This is just a part of life.
The other day my dear friend, Lippy, sent me a little story that I would
like to call, ³A Recipe For Handling Adversity.² There are several
principles in this story that if understood and applied can help us deal
with adversity when it comes along.
A young woman went to her mother and told her about her life, her
marriage 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 into 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 in the last she placed
ground coffee beans. She let them sit and boil without saying a word. In
about 20 minutes she turned off the burners. She then fished the carrots out
and placed them in a bowl. She pulled the eggs out and placed them in a
bowl. She then ladled out the coffee and placed it in a bowl.
Now, here is the object lesson that will be obvious as it is revealed.
Turning to the daughter, she asked, ³Tell me what you see?¹ ³Carrots, eggs
and coffee,² she replied. Her mother brought her closer and asked her to
feel the carrots. She did and noted they were soft. The mother than 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 the rich aroma. The daughter
then asked, ³What does it mean, mother?²
Her mother explained that each of these objects, the carrots, the eggs
and the coffee beans, had faced the same adversity ‹ boiling water. However,
each reacted differently. The carrots went in strong, hard and unrelenting.
However, after being subjected to the boiling water, they softened and
became weak. The eggs had been fragile. Each one, with its thin outer shell
had protected its liquid interior, but after sitting through the boiling
water, its inside had become hardened. The coffee beans were unique,
however. After they were in the boiling water, they had actually CHANGED the
water, to a liquid drink that was delicious. .
After this little demonstration, the mother asked the daughter, ³When
adversity knocks at your door, which one are you, a carrot, an egg or a
coffee bean?² Obviously, this is a question we could each ask ourselves when
we are facing a time of adversity.
There are a number of great object lessons here, and with God¹s help I
will do my best to make them clear. Please ask yourself these questions,
when adversity comes along in my life, do I react like a carrot and become
soft and weak, or do I react like an egg that starts with a malleable heart,
but soon becomes hard and inflexible?
Do 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 I am bitter and tough with a stiff
spirit and a hardened heart?
And finally, the best solution to handle adversity is to be like the
coffee bean. It actually changes with hot water, the very circumstances that
bring the pain. When the hour is the darkest, you just elevate yourself to a
higher level.² And may the road rise up to meet you. May the wind be always
at your back. May the Lord always hold you in the hollow of His hand. An Old
Irish Blessing.
(Jim Davidson is a motivational speaker and syndicated columnist. You
may contact him at 2 Bentley Drive, Conway, AR 72034.)