By Tonya Allen
A group of graduates, well established in their careers, were talking at a reunion and decided to go visit their old university professor, now retired. During their visit, the conversation turned to complaints about stress in their work and lives. Offering his guests hot chocolate, the professor went into the kitchen and returned with a large pot of hot chocolate and an assortment of cups – porcelain, glass, crystal, some plain looking, some expensive, some exquisite – telling them to help themselves to the hot chocolate.
When they all had a cup of hot chocolate in hand, the professor said: “Notice that all the nice looking; expensive cups were taken, leaving behind the plain and cheap ones. While it is normal for you to want only the best for yourselves, that is the source of your problems and stress. The cup that you’re drinking from adds nothing to the quality of the hot chocolate. In most cases it is just more expensive and in some cases even hides what we drink. What all of you really wanted was hot chocolate, not the cup; but you consciously went for the best cups… And then you began eyeing each other’s cups.
Now consider this: Life is the hot chocolate; your job, money and position in society are the cups. They are just tools to hold and contain life. The cup you have does not define, nor change the quality of life you have. Sometimes, by concentrating only on the cup, we fail to enjoy the hot chocolate God has provided us. God makes the hot chocolate, man chooses the cups. The happiest people don’t have the best of everything. They just make the best of everything that they have. Live simply. Love generously. Care deeply. Speak kindly. And enjoy your hot chocolate.
I received this email one morning at work and it touched my heart deeply. We often state that God can use anything or anybody to get his message out to his children. We have all met people with awesome testimonies. One of my favorite songs repeats on the radio several times throughout the day simply states that there is a story behind my praise. When was the last time you walked up to a stranger or a friend that was having a hard day and shared your story? When was the last time you motivated your spouse or child by sharing a piece of your past? People need to know that they can survive any storm.
We can recite bible verses all day long but people need to hear your personal story. They need to see through your eyes that storms don’t last always. We often miss the soothing and delicious sensations that a good sweet cup of hot chocolate can provide. We only want to use the elegant china or convenient foam cups. Regardless of what cup you use it will not change the taste. We all love to receive blessings from God. I personally don’t care what kind of package the blessings may come in as long as I get the blessings. We have to keep in mind that Tonya’s blessings are only intended for Tonya. When Carol gets her blessing, I need to rejoice and praise God with Carol, not sit back and wonder why I didn’t receive the same blessing.
So, sit back and relax and know that God has got it all under control! So, my sisters and brothers in Christ don’t forget to enjoy the hot chocolate! No need to worry about the cup just delight in the content! Delight thyself also in the LORD: and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. (Psalm 37:4. KJV) Don’t just be blessed, act blessed!
Tonya can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Tonya and her husband Robert were Married Couples Ministry leaders for 16 years at Freewill Missionary Baptist Church, Montgomery, Alabama.
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