TIMELESS THOUGHTS ON A SIMPLE STORY
The following is a conversation by a group of friends on a wise Chinese Story. Read, share and feel free to continue in the line of thoughts. (original names have been abbreviated)
CL shared this wonderful story:
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 walks 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 two 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.’
Each of us has our own unique flaw, But it’s the cracks and flaws we each have that make our lives together so very interesting and rewarding. You’ve just got to take each person for what they are and look for the good in them. So, to all of my cracked-pot friends, remember to water the flowers on your side of the path! Don’t forget – your cracked part is of sublime importance in helping to grow the flowers planted in the sands of time…
……………… after a long reflection, the following conversation ensued.
RF commented: God knows what and who we are! He’s made us in HIS image and we are good in HIS eyes! But then, we are not ALL we think we should be, and our friends, peer, family and colleagues tell us we are adequate and we succumb to them and thus refuse to let d water drip from “the cracks in our pots”…. I’m thinking! “How many flowers along the road have I left to die just because I won’t………….. let the water flow from my crack?”
KM questioned: Good story with important lessons for all, but…….It sets me thinking about ‘cracks’ and Christians. Unless the story is set in proper perspective, some folk may be tempted to think “Hey, my Christian life has many a crack, so what?” By body language, someone begins to expect God, or his or her neighbour, to plant flowers rather than ‘whine’ about living up to the call of perfecting holiness. After all, no one is perfect.
RF replied: On point @KM. But I’m also thinking… Perfection is our acceptance of the fact that we are imperfect! And instead of complaining to God about what we “see” as a weakness (because the Carrier never complained about the crack) how about we put ourselves to a greater use and let Him have His way?
KM questioned again: Hmm. Deep @RF. Which brings me to the question- within context, when is a flaw not a flaw?
RF answered: When it makes the flowers blossom beautifully.
KM added: Interesting. How the flower blossoms!
RF inspiringly analysed: It seems to me the two pots had different functions. One was to fill the master’s house with water, the other to beautify his house with flowers. The supposed cracked pot misunderstood his purpose and thought it a flaw!
So in the contest of the story, a flaw is probably a misunderstood purpose! Because the master saw none! It’s a perceived thought by the pot!
A flaw: a defect I see in me when I compare myself with other people. And that defect incapacitates me to the extent that I feel depressed and discouraged and thus I’m blinded to the lives around me that my “perceived defects” has made beautiful
OS re-iterated: A flaw isn’t a wilful sin!
KM illustrated: So the flaw is more a perceived weakness, not of a moral nature? A physical, or psychological ‘inhibition’ Like, a fellow considers the voice too weak for Morning Cries, or with a temperament that leaves a fellow too shy for evangelism
RF added: @KM More like what we perceive ’because we see others doing such things as we term pleasing to the master which we aren’t able to do!
OS remarked: But point is, this perceived, supposed weakness can be turned into a strength that even gives you competitive edge over others. Something that others can NOT do. The person that has a weak voice not bold enough for morning cry or bus-preaching may be a good writer that can preach through his pen!
RF responded: On point @OS but….the service to God isn’t a competition because that’s where the comparisons starts that makes us term ourselves as “flawed”
OS added: Yeah. Exactly what I meant. Instead of me, a thin-voice, tenor singer comparing myself with @RF, a professionally-trained deep baritonic singer, I better look for something else to do. Lol. And the Carrier, God has placed me on the side where He’s planted His flowery seeds for me to wet! Yaaaaay. I’ve gained so much from these! God has placed you in that place for something, DISCOVER IT!
Also, my supposedly perceived flaws can still make lives blossom! I’ve got to utilize them in a positive way. God help me!
RF thankfully added: Amen. Its the way I choose to lean! Much as I don’t try to justify an outright negative personality that hurts others, I want be thankful to God for making me, ME. Because he gave me a heart, he gave me a smile, he gave me Jesus and He made me His child! I recall a song i learnt a long time ago,
THE BUTTERFLY SONG (Words and Music by Brian M.Howard)
How many years have I lived? And how many more do I have left that I should go about being grumpy and depressed thinking I am a failure when in fact I am beautifying lives along the way yeah, making my Masters table beautiful? Aren’t there labourers on the field who are doing the good work of the Lord yet with a feeling of discouragement? Would ministry not be more enjoyable if the children of God learn to appreciate where HE’s placed them and put their perceived “flaws” to the utmost use knowing it surely will cause the flowers along the road to blossom!
O! When I come to the end of life’s journey, weary of life and the battle is won! Bearing the staff and the cross of redemption… I want to be sure my Lord will understand and say : WELL DONE!
The perfect pot NEVER condemned the cracked pot. Why? Could it be that in the inside of it, it had its own dirt? Could it be that by reason of years of service and not being washed it had gathered mushrooms and spirogyra inside of it? There’s no record of the master commending the perfect pot, in fact it was no fun on d long walk to the Master’s house! No beautiful flowers on its side to behold, no lovely fragrance to grace its smell, no petals to pluck, no butterflies to dance around! For the perfect pot, it was a lonely walk because the CARRIER’s attention was probably focused on channeling the water leaking from the cracked pot on the right path such that it watered HIS flowers along the road!
And for years, everyday they took that walk, the perfect pot strolled along watching the Carrier charting the course of the cracked pot along the way as it watered those flowers and it NEVER complained! Because it knew its own purpose that though it may not water the flowers on the road, it will water the lives in the home of the master!
CL, resurrected with a Rhema: And again, the cracked pot got an elucidated picture of its purpose in life ONLY when it spoke out the burden it bore for two years! The Carrier never gave the explanation until the cracked pot asked…
Sometimes we shut our mouths and whine, grope in the dark and shrug our shoulders at situations we feel are out of place. Peter might never had known (and I doubt if the other disciples did) the importance of having his feet washed by the Master, if he hadn’t voiced out! Maybe others might have said,
But what was more important was the message that followed: “if I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me…”
RF, finally summarised with a wonderful sermon: Questions that matters! @CL posted a simple, already read, somewhat stale article to some of us, @KM, spurred by d Spirit, asked a harmless question and lo and behold d Rhema that has followed!!!!! Cephassssssssss!!!!!!
Mathew 5:48 says: Be ye therefore perfect as your father which is in heaven is perfect!
Jesus called us to perfection by giving us a model and a standard to aspire to, the Father! Then HE (Jesus) modeled the life of perfection for us here on earth.(1 peter 2:21 says, “For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: 22 Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: 23 Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously: 24 Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed. 25 For ye were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls.)
Think of it this way, You, a cracked, helpless, sinful, broken, battered, pot on the shoulders of your Master (Exo 19:4……. how I bare you on eagles’ wings, ……….. Deut 32:11,12 As an eagle ….So the Lord alone did lead him,)
God is the carrier, while Jesus as the perfect pot portrayed in the story is there as a bridge and balance for the cracked pot (man) and d Carrier (God). As a model, he’s there to ensure we fulfill purpose! The crack is something we are and are probably going to live with for the rest of our lives. Something in us that’s meant to bring glory to God as portrayed by the Apostle Paul in…..
11 Cor 12:7-9 And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
I put it to you that Jesus would NEVER boo you for your cracks. He will never yell out at you for putting your whole weight on him (because as you leak along the way, you become lighter hence making the perfect pot susceptible to fall) Because its up to HIM and the Father to maintain the balance as you walk. His purpose is to make you useful to the Father. So for d times the father walked slowly, bent over, strolled backward, walked in circles so you could water the flowers along the way, Jesus was there with you all the way! John 9:3
While we transverse this earth, we must LOOK unto Jesus the perfect pot! He has gone that road many times and has been made perfect by the Father! Yes there are times when we come to our wits end and thus must cry out like the cracked pot to the master (pls read Mt 8:23-25; 20:30-31; Lk 15:29-32) instead of whining and being depressed and confused and unsure if our walk has been perfect in the sight of our CARRIER… Just ask him (Lk 18:28, Then Peter said, Lo, we have left all, and followed thee. 29 And he said unto them, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or parents, or brethren, or wife, or children, for the kingdom of God’s sake, 30 Who shall not receive manifold more in this present time, and in the world to come life everlasting.)