The Coffee or the Cup

The following is a re-print from the Amish newsletter, Wheat Ridge Exchange…

A group of Alumni, highly established in their careers, got together to visit their old university professor. Conversation soon turned to complaints about stress in work and life.

Offering his guests coffee, the Professor went to the kitchen and returned with a large pot of coffee and an assortment of cups-porcelain, plastic, glass, crystal, some plain looking, some expensive and some exquisite, telling them to help themselves to the coffee.

When the students had a cup of coffee in hand, the professor said, “If you noticed, all the nice looking expensive cups were taken up, leaving behind the plain and cheap ones. While it is normal to want only the best for yourselves, that is the source of your problems and stress. Be assured that the cup itself adds no quality to the coffee. In most cases it is just more expensive and in some cases even hides what we drink. What all of you really wanted was coffee, not the cup, but you consciously went for the best cup–and you began eying each other’s cups.

“Now consider this–life is the coffee, the jobs, money and position in society are the cups. They are just tools to hold and contain life, and the type of cup we have does not define nor change the quality of the life we live. Sometimes by concentrating only on the cup we fail to enjoy the coffee God has provided us. God brews the coffee, not the cups. Enjoy the coffee.”

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