Because I just got back from my trip late yesterday, there’s not much in the way of food. So after work I stopped at Chipotle for a veggie burrito (yum!) to fortify myself for grocery shopping. I love Chipotle for many reasons, not least of which is there yummy burritos, and they’re big enough to get two meals! So lunch is already to go too! I grabbed a bag to put the leftovers in so they wouldn’t make a mess in my car while I was getting groceries and they always have interesting quotes or stories on their take-out bags. Today’s was incredibly inspiration and thoughtful and I wanted to share it.
A legend tells of a man who used to carry water every day to his village, using two large pitchers tied on either end of a piece of wood, which he placed across his shoulders. One of the pitchers was older than the other and was full of small cracks; every time the man came back along the path to his house, half of the water was lost. For two years, the man made the same journey. The younger pitcher was always very proud of the way it did its work and was sure that it was up to the task for which it had been created, while the other pitcher was mortally ashamed that it could carry out only half its task, even though it knew that the cracks were the result of long years of work. So ashamed was the old pitcher that, one day, while the man was preparing to fill it up with water from the well, it decided to speak with him.
“I wish to apologize because, due to my age, you only manage t0 take home half the water you fill me with, and thus quench only half the thirst awaiting you in your house.” The man smiled and said “When we go back, be sure to take a careful look at the path.” The pitcher did as the man asked and noticed many flowers and plants growing along one side of the path. “Do you see how much more beautiful nature is on your side of the road?” the man remarked. “I knew you had cracks, but I decided to take advantage of them. I sowed vegetables and flowers there, and you always watered them. I’ve picked dozens of roses to decorate my house, and my children have had lettuce, cabbage, and onions to eat. If you were not the way you are, I could never have done this. We all, at some point grow old and acquire other qualities, and these can always be turned to good advantage. – Paulo Coelho
I love this parable for highlighting differences in focus. Where the pitcher saw only its cracks and failures, the man saw an opportunity for a 2-mile garden to bring beauty and nourishment to his home. We often focus on our own cracks, failures, our brokeness and inability to keep up the appearance of effectiveness. But our Creator smiles at us and points only to the ground that our seeming weaknesses have watered. He uses us in our cracked state because that allows Him to water around us. Don’t be ashamed of your cracks – take joy and comfort that they are creating a garden all around you. You may not be able to see it yet, but your influence and life have meaning and spill out in ripples you can’t even imagine.
Blessings to you,