A group of alumni, all highly established in their respective careers, got together to visit their old university professor. The conversation soon turned to complaints about the endless stress of work and life in general.
Offering his guests coffee, the professor went into the kitchen and returned with a large pot of coffee and an eclectic assortment of cups. There were cups made of porcelain, plastic, glass, and crystal. Some were expensive, some were works of art, and others were quite plain.
The professor told his guests to help themselves with fresh coffee.
When each of his former students had a cup of coffee in hand, the old
professor quietly cleared his throat and began to address the small gathering.
“You may have noticed that all of the nicer-looking cups were taken up
first, leaving behind the plainer and cheaper ones. While it is only
natural for you to want only the best for yourselves, that is actually the source of much of your stress-related problems.”
He continued. “Be assured that the cup itself adds no quality to the
coffee. In fact, the cup merely disguises or dresses up what you are drinking. What each of you really wanted was coffee, not a cup, but you instinctively went for the best cups. Then you began eyeing each other’s cups.”
After a pause, he went on. “Consider this. Life is coffee. Jobs, money, and position in society are merely cups. They are simply tools to shape and contain life. The type of cup we have does not truly define or change the quality of our lives. Often, by concentrating only on the cup, we fail to enjoy the coffee that God has provided us. God brews the coffee, but God does not supply the cups. Enjoy your coffee.”