Inspiration

The Coffee, Not the Cup


One thing that you probably don’t know about me is that I am not necessarily a coffee fanatic (I drink iced chai tea lattes), but I am a coffee shop fanatic. My favorite place to relax, make new friends, hangout with old friends, and escape from the day is a coffee shop. I love coffee shops in malls, in the middle of nowhere, downtown, in strip shopping centers, chain coffee shops, fancy coffee shops, hole-in-the-wall coffee shops, and the list goes on.

When I visit a cute coffee shop that I’ve never been to, I do two things: order an iced chai tea latte, and purchase a T-shirt. Someday, I plan on making a quilt out of all of the coffee shop T-shirts that I have collected over the years.

The other day I was chatting with friends at a local coffee shop, and one of the girls told a story that she had heard. What I loved about this particular story is that it was inspiring, short and sweet, and it made me think. Although the author is unknown, I thought I would share it with you:

“A group of alumni, highly established in their careers, got together to visit their old university professor. Conversation soon turned into 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, some exquisite. He told them to help themselves to the coffee.

“When all 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 for you 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’s 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 cups. And then you began eyeing 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 life we live. Sometimes, by concentrating only on the cup, we fail to enjoy the coffee God has provided us.”

This is now one of my favorite inspirational stories. It reminds us that God brews the coffee, not the cups, and we should enjoy our coffee no matter what kind of cup it is in. We should make the best of everything and be thankful for the blessings that we have.


More Inspiration

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  • Inspiration: Rookie of the Year – Part 3 - October 2011
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