We are a strange bunch! Each of us bring a different mix of gifts and abilities, and seem to find a wide range of ways to fulfill our calling! We are on a journey and we are fellow travelers and I want to challenge you to think about who you are and where you are going. I’d like to tell you a story…
A water-bearer in China had two large pots, each hung on the ends of a pole which he carried across his neck. One of the pots had a crack in it while the other pot was perfect and always delivered the 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 water-bearer only delivering one and a half pots of water to the house.
Of course the perfect pot was proud of its accomplishments for which it was made. But the poor cracked pot was ashamed of its own imperfection and miserable that it was able to accomplish half of what it had been made to do. After two years of what it perceived to be bitter failure, it spoke to the water-bearer one day by the steam. “I am ashamed of myself, because this crack in my side causes water to leak out all the way back to the house”.
The water-bearer then said to the pot, “Did you notice that there are flowers on your side of the path, but not on the other pot’s side? That is because I have always known your flaw, so I planted flower seeds on your side of the path, and every day while we walked back, you watered 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”.
Each of us have flaws which embarrass us. But it’s those same cracks and flaws that make our lives together so very interesting and rewarding, providing the beauty which so often we don’t even notice.
So my crackpot friends, have a great day and make time to appreciate and smell the flowers!
Chaplain Ian Whitley