Getting Ahead: ‘Boiling in Adversity’


I have found that some of the very best lessons in life are all around us just waiting for us to discover them. I was recently made aware of one such lesson.

A young man came to his teacher for help. His life seemed to be a mess. He was experiencing one setback after another and was at the point of giving up. His teacher put three pans of water on a stove and brought them to a boil. In the first pan the teacher placed fresh carrots, in the second eggs, and in the third ground coffee beans. After a time the teacher took the carrots and eggs out of the boiling water and placed them in a bowl.

The teacher also ladled out the coffee and placed it in a bowl. Turning to the young man the teacher asked him; “What do you see?” The young man told the teacher that he saw carrots, eggs and coffee. The teacher then told the young man to feel the carrots, pull the shell off the egg, and taste the coffee. After doing what the teacher asked him, the young man asked: “What does it mean?”

The teacher explained that all three objects faced the same adversity in the boiling water. The carrots went in strong and hard but came out soft and weak. The eggs went in fragile and soft on the inside but came out hard boiled. The ground coffee beans went in the boiling water just as the carrots and eggs, however, instead of the boiling water changing the ground coffee beans, the ground coffee beans had changed the boiling water into a fragrant and flavorful cup of coffee to be enjoyed.

How do you handle adversity? Are you a carrot, an egg, or a coffee bean? If you react to adversity like a carrot or an egg in boiling water, how do you become like the coffee bean and change your adversity into a cup of coffee?

These and other life questions will be addressed Sunday morning as “The Gathering Place Family” meets in the Washington High School Library for Bible Study at 9:30 and in the gymnasium at 10 a.m. for our Pre-Service Connection where we enjoy coffee, juice and donuts. Our Worship Service and Children’s Church then begins at 10:30. Come at 7 p.m. and be part of our Wednesday night Bible Study and Children’s Ministry on the third floor above Trends at 120 W. Court St. in Washington Court House.

By John G. Pfeifer

Religion Columnist

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