Tuesday, August 12, 2008

How's your hot chocolate?

Since I've had kids, God has been working on my attitude towards having "things". I used to want the nicest car, have the most fashionable clothes and wanted to live the best of the American dream. Today, I drive a 10 year old car (and I love it), rarely shop at anyplace that does not sell used clothes and could care less about keeping up with the Jones'.

As my kids grow, I care less and less about things for myself and want them to experience life to the fullest. Not a life that is ruled by having stuff, but a life that is full of experiences, love, and encouragement to try new things.

Today, a friend sent me this little story and it was just the encouragement I needed. I hope you enjoy!

Wisdom in Hot Chocolate
(Author Unknown)

A group of graduates, well-established in their career, were talking at a reunion and decided to 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 to 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 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 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 money, job, position in society are the cups. They are just the 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 made the hot chocolate; man chooses the cup. The happiest of people do not have everything. They make the best of everything they have.”

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