Not the Cups but the Coffee

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 in 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- telling 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. What all of you really wanted was coffee, not the cup, but you consciously went for the best cups and eyeing each other’s cups.

Now consider this: Life is the coffee, and the jobs, money and position in society are the cups. They are just tools to hold and contain life, and do not change the quality of life. Sometimes, by concentrating only on the cup, we fail to enjoy the coffee God has provided. So, don’t let the cups drive you…enjoy the coffee instead.”

From what you and I have observed so far, can we say that thriving economy of our country and our comfortable financial position have made us happy and we have a sense of fulfilment in life.

As we see more and more materialism and consumerism becoming the order of the day, we realise more and more as the Bible says, that money is not everything and the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. Everyone’s life is driven by something. What is going to be the most-important driving force of your life? If your life is driven by more forces than one, I am afraid, you will land nowhere.

The purpose of your life is far greater than your own personal fulfilment, happiness and it is far greater than your career and even your widest dreams and ambitions.

Dr Hugh Moorhead, a philosophy Professor at Northeastern Illinois University, USA, once wrote to 250 of the best-known philosophers, scientists, writers, and intellectuals in the world, asking them, “What is the meaning and purpose of life?”

The outcome was very interesting. Some offered their best guesses, some admitted that they just made up a purpose for life, and others were honest enough to admit that they were clueless. In fact, a vast majority of them asked Professor Moorhead to write back and tell them if he discovered the purpose of life.

Do you want to know the purpose of your life? Begin with God and ask Him. Life is about letting God use us for His purposes, not we using Him for our own purpose.

Wherever you are and whatever you may do, learn to focus on what matters most – not the cups but the coffee.

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