It’s Your Choice

The Latest Word from John Ed Mathison

Life is made up of choices.  Choices can be a challenge because it is easy to get fooled.  In football, the best defense can disguise its scheme and coverage on a given play that can easily fool the quarterback into making a terrible mistake.  What appears to be one thing turns out to be something else.  Isn’t that a picture of life?

I heard about a group of distinguished people who had excelled in their careers.  They came back to their university and visited their old professor.  It wasn’t long before the conversation centered on stresses of work and life.  Some of them were complaining.  The professor offered his guests some coffee.  He went in to the kitchen and returned with a pot of coffee and a large assortment of cups – porcelain, plastic, glass, and crystal.  Some of the cups were plain looking, some looked expensive, some looked exquisite.  He told them to help themselves to the coffee.

Each of the returning alumni chose their cup and poured their coffee.  The professor then said, “You noticed all the nice looking, expensive cups were taken up first, leaving behind the plain and cheap ones.  While it is normal for you to want only the best for yourselves, that may be the source of your problems and stress.  What you really wanted was coffee, not the cup.  But you consciously went for the best cups.  Then you began eyeing each others’ cups and became jealous and disappointed because they had a better cup than you.”

The wise professor said, “Life is the coffee; the jobs, money, position and power are the cups.  The cups are just vessels to hold and contain life, and the type of cup we choose should not define or change the quality of life we live.  If you concentrate only on the cup, you fail to enjoy the coffee God has provided for you.”

God brews the coffee.  You choose the cup.  Life is about the coffee – not the cup.

Choose a Godly attitude for living each day.  Your attitude and actions can help others choose a Godly attitude for themselves.

I read about a woman who moved into a small town.  She was having a lot of trouble adjusting.  She was particularly disturbed by what she considered poor service at the local drug store.  She complained to a neighbor about the poor service in hopes he would pass on the complaint to the owner of the drug store. 

The next time the lady went to the drug store, the pharmacist greeted her with a big smile and told her how happy he was to see her again.  He said he hoped she liked the little town and to please let him know if he could do anything to help her and her husband get settled.  He then filled the order promptly and efficiently. 

The lady was astounded.  She reported the miraculous change to her neighbor.  She said, “I suppose you told the pharmacist how poor I thought the service was.”  The neighbor surprised her by saying, “No.  In fact – I hope you don’t mind, but I told him you were amazed at how he had built up this small town drug store and you thought it was the best run drug store you had ever seen.”

People respond better to a compliment than to criticism – to possibilities than to problems – to opportunities than to obstacles.  Jesus told Martha, “You are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed – or indeed only one.  Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her” (Luke 10:41-42). 

Choose wisely.  Choose the coffee and not the cup.  Choose the positive attitude and not the negative.

Joshua said, “Choose this day whom you will serve . . . but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord” (Joshua 24:15).

Remember – all choices have consequences!

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