Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Breathe {inspiration for Wednesdays}

Do you ever feel like all you can see are your flaws?  When you look at life, do you sometimes only see brokenness?  I have had times (sometimes years) where I look around and see everyone around me succeeding, looking good, and having a purpose but when I looked back at me all I could say is..."what in the world am supposed to be doing here?"  (I have to say that those moments were far more frequent when my kids were little and it felt like the greatest accomplishment of the day was getting out of the grocery store without someone throwing a temper tantrum!!)  

You might relate to that...and you might not, but I love the following story about brokenness, usefulness, and the surprises along the journey.  Enjoy!

An elderly Chinese woman had two large pots , each hung on the ends of a pole , which she carried across her neck. One of the pots had a crack in it while the other pot was perfect and always delivered a full portion of water , at the end of the long walk from the stream to the house , the cracked pot arrived only half full.

For a full two years this went on daily , with the woman bringing home only one and a half pots of water. Of course , the perfect pot was proud of its accomplishments. But the poor cracked pot was ashamed of its own imperfection , and miserable that it could only do half of what it had been made to do.

After 2 years of what it perceived to be bitter failure , it spoke to the woman one day by the stream. "I am ashamed of myself , because this crack in my side causes water to leak out all the way back to your house."

The old woman smiled , "Did you notice that there are flowers on your side of the path , but not on the other pot's side?" "That's because I have always known about your flaw , so I planted flower seeds on your side of the path , and every day while we walk back , you water them. For two years I have been able to pick these beautiful flowers to decorate the table. Without you being just the way you are , there would not be this beauty to grace the house."

Breathe, smile and go slowly.

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