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"A group of graduates, well established in their careers, were talking at a reunion and decided to go 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 into 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 all 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 that 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 job, money and position in society are the cups.They are just 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 makes the hot chocolate, man chooses the cups.
The happiest people don't have the best of everything. They just make the best of everything that they have. Live simply. Love generously. Care deeply. Speak kindly.
And enjoy your hot chocolate. " Author Unknown
Several years ago, a friend of mine and her husband were invited to spend the weekend at
the husband's employer's home. My friend, Arlene, was nervous about the weekend. The boss
was very wealthy, with a fine home on the waterway, and cars costing more than her house
The first day and evening went well, and Arlene was delighted to have this rare glimpse into
how the very wealthy live. The husband's employer was quite generous as a host, and took
them to the finest restaurants. Arlene knew she would never have the opportunity to
indulge in this kind of extravagance again, so was enjoying herself immensely.
|As the three of them were about to enter an exclusive restaurant that evening, the boss
was walking slightly ahead of Arlene and her husband. He stopped suddenly, looking
down on the pavement for a long, silent moment.
Arlene wondered if she was supposed to pass him. There was nothing on the ground except
a single darkened penny that someone had dropped, and a few cigarette butts. Still silent,
the man reached down and picked up the penny.
He held it up and smiled, then put it in his pocket as if he had found a great treasure. How absurd!
What need did this man have for a single penny? Why would he even take the time to stop and pick it up?
Throughout dinner, the entire scene nagged at her. Finally, she could stand it no longer.
She casually mentioned that her daughter once had a coin collection, and asked if the
penny he had found had been of some value.
A smile crept across the man's face as he reached into his pocket for the penny and held
it out for her to see. She had seen many pennies before! What was the point of this?
"Look at it." He said. "Read what it says."
She read the words " United States of America "
"No, not that; read further."
"No, keep reading."
"In God we Trust?"
"And if I trust in God, the name of God is holy, even on a coin. Whenever I find a coin I see that inscription.
It is written on every single United States coin, but we never seem to notice it!
God drops a message right in front of me telling me to trust Him? Who am I to pass it by?
When I see a coin, I pray, I stop to see if my trust IS in God at that moment. I pick the coin up
as a response to God; that I do trust in Him. For a short time, at least, I cherish it as if it were gold.
I think it is God's way of starting a conversation with me. Lucky for me, God is patient and pennies are plentiful!"
When I was out shopping today, I found a penny on the sidewalk. I stopped and picked it up,
and realized that I had been worrying and fretting in my mind about things I cannot change.
I read the words, "In God We Trust," and had to laugh. Yes, God, I get the message.
It seems that I have been finding an inordinate number of pennies in the last few months,
but then, pennies are plentiful! And, God is patient.."
One day, the father of a very wealthy family took his son on a trip to the country with the express purpose of showing him how poor people live. They spent a couple of days and nights on the farm of what would be considered a very poor family.
On their return from their trip, the father asked his son, 'How was the trip?'
'It was great, Dad.'
|'Did you see how poor people live?' the father asked.
'Oh yeah,' said the son.
'So, tell me, what did you learn from t he trip?' asked the father.
The son answered:
'I saw that we have one dog and they had four.
We have a pool that reaches to the middle of our garden and they have a creek that has no end.
We have imported lanterns in our garden and they have the stars at night.
Our patio reaches to the front yard and they have the whole horizon.
We have a small piece of land to live on and they have fields that go beyond our sight.
We have servants who serve us, but they serve others.
We buy our food, but they grow theirs.
We have walls around our property to protect us, they have friends to protect them.'
The boy's father was speechless.
Then his son added, 'Thanks Dad for showing me how poor we are.'
Isn't perspective a wonderful thing? Makes you wonder what would happen if we all gave thanks for everything we have, instead of worrying about what we don't have. Appreciate every single thing you have, especially your friends!
|Take the Son
Years ago, there was a very wealthy man who, with his devoted young son, shared a passion for art collecting. Together they traveled around the world, adding only the finest art treasures to their collection. Priceless works by Picasso, Van Gogh, Monet, and many others adorned the walls of their family estate. The widowed elderly man looked on with satisfaction as his only child became an experienced art collector. The son's trained eye and sharp business mind caused his father to beam with
pride as they dealt with art collectors around the world.
As winter approached, war engulfed their nation, and the young man left to serve his country. After only a few short weeks, the elderly man received a telegram that his beloved son was missing in action. The art collector anxiously awaited more news, fearing he would never see his son again. Within days his fears were confirmed. The young man had died while rushing a fellow soldier to a medic. Distraught and lonely, the old man faced the upcoming Christmas holidays with anguish and sadness.
The joy of the season-a season that he and his son had so looked forward to in the past-would visit his house no longer.
On Christmas morning, a knock on the door awakened the depressed old man. As he walked to the
door, the masterpieces of art on the walls only reminded him that his son was not coming home. He opened the door and was greeted by a soldier with a large package in his hand.
The soldier introduced himself to the old man by saying, "I was a friend of your son. I was the one he was rescuing when he died. May I come in for a few moments? I have something to show you." As the two began to
talk, the soldier told of how the man's son had told every one of his-and his father's-love of fine art work. "I'm also an artist," said the soldier, "and I want to give you this." As the old man began to unwrap the package, paper gave way to reveal a portrait of the man's son.
Though the world would never consider it a work of genius, the painting featured the young man's face in striking detail. Overcome with emotion, the old man thanked the soldier, promising to hang the portrait above the fireplace. A few hours later, after the soldier had departed, the old man set about his task. True to his word, the painting went above the fireplace, pushing aside thousands of dollars worth of paintings. And then the old man sat in his chair and spent Christmas gazing at the gift he had been given. During the days and weeks
that followed, the man learned that his son
had rescued dozens of wounded soldiers before a bullet stilled his caring heart. As the stories of his son's gallantry continued to reach him, fatherly pride and satisfaction began to ease his grief, as he
realized that, although his son was no longer with him, the boy's life would live on because of those he had touched. The painting of his son soon became his most prized possession, far eclipsing any interest in
the priceless pieces for which museums around the world clamored.
He told his neighbors it was the greatest gift he had ever received. The following spring, the old man became ill and passed away. The art world was in anticipation, since, with the old man's passing, and his only son dead, those paintings would be sold at an auction. According to
the will of the old man, all of the art works would be auctioned on Christmas Day, the way he had received his greatest gift. The day finally arrived and art collectors from around the world gathered to bid on some of the world's most spectacular paintings Dreams could be fulfilled this day; greatness could be achieved as some
could say," I have the greatest collection." The auction began with a painting that was not on any museum list... It was the painting of the old man's son. The auctioneer asked for an opening bid, but the room was
"Who will open the bidding with $100?" he asked.
Moments passed as no one spoke. From the back of the room came, "Who cares about that painting? It's just a picture of his son. Let's forget it and get on to
the good ones." More voices echoed in agreement. "No, we have to sell this one-first," replied the auctioneer.
"Now who will take the son?"
Finally, a friend of the old man spoke. "Will you take $10 for the painting? That's all I have. "Will anyone go higher?" called the auctioneer. After more silence he said, "Going once, going twice...
Gone!" The gavel fell.
Cheers filled the room and someone shouted, "Now
we can get on with it and bid on these treasures!"
The auctioneer looked at the audience and announced that the auction was over. Stunned disbelief quieted the room.
Then someone spoke up and asked, "What do you mean it's over? We didn't come here for a portrait of some old man's son! What about all of the other paintings? There are millions of dollars worth of art work here. We demand an explanation!"
The auctioneer replied, "It's very simple. According to the will of the father, whoever takes the son...gets it all."
Just as the art collectors discovered on that day...The message is still the same...the love of the Father....a Father whose son gave his life for others...And because of that Father's love...Whoever takes the Son
gets it all.