Merciful Mornings
August 5, 2015


I have read this story before, but I came across it again today and couldn’t pass the opportunity to share it will all of my blog friends. If you’re new here, you might not know about my coffee obsession. If you know me well, then this should come as no surprise to you. This is just another reason why coffee is so wonderfully awesome. Don’t just drink the coffee. BE THE COFFEE.

So here’s how the story goes…

A young woman went to her grandmother and told her about her life and how things were so hard for her. She did not know how she was going to make it and wantedΒ to give up. She was tired of fighting and struggling. It seemed that as one problem was solved, a new one arose.Β 

Her grandmother took her to the kitchen. She filled three pots with water and placed each on a high fire. Soon the pots came to a boil. In the first, she placed carrots, in the second she placed eggs, and the last she placed ground coffee beans. She let them sit and boil, without saying a word.

In about twenty minutes she turned off the burners. She fished the carrots out and placed them in a bowl. She then pulled the eggs out and placed them in a bowl. Then she ladled the coffee out and placed it in a bowl.

Turning to her granddaughter, she asked, “Tell me, what do you see?”

“Carrots, eggs, and coffee,” she replied.

She brought her closer and asked her to feel the carrots. She did and noted that they were soft. She then asked her to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard-boiled egg. Finally, she asked her to sip the coffee. The daughter smiled as she tasted its rich aroma.

The granddaughter then asked, “What does it mean, Grandmother?”

Her grandmother explained that each of these objects had faced the same adversity — boiling water — but each reacted differently. The carrot went in strong, hard and unrelenting. However, after being subjected to the boiling water, it softened and became weak. The egg had been fragile. Its thin outer shell had protected its liquid interior. But, after sitting through the boiling water, its inside became hardened. The ground coffee beans were unique, however. After they were in the boiling water, they had changed the water.

“Which are you?” she asked her granddaughter. “When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a carrot, an egg, or a coffee bean?”

Think of this: Which am I? Am I the carrot that seems strong, but with pain and adversity? Do I wilt and become soft and lose my strength?

Am I the egg that starts with a malleable heart, but changes with the heat? Did I have a fluid spirit, but after a death, a breakup, a financial hardship or some other trial, have I become hardened and stiff? Does my shell look the same, but on the inside am I bitter and tough with a stiff spirit and a hardened heart?

Or am I like the coffee bean? The bean actually changes the hot water, the very circumstance that brings the pain. When the water gets hot, it releases the fragrance and flavor of your life. If you are like the bean, when things are at their worst, you get better and change the situation around you. When the hours are the darkest and trials are their greatest, do you elevate to another level?

How do you handle adversity? Are you changed by your surroundings or do you bring life, flavor, to them?


~Author Unknown

Photo by trophygeek (CC BY 2.0)

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12 responses to “Choose the Coffee. Be the Coffee.”

  1. That is so cool! I love visuals πŸ™‚
    Hopefully, I am the coffee. Now I have something to aim for!

  2. sandraj says:

    I am so glad I dropped by and read your wise words about adversity and coffee (my fav, too!). Thanks!

  3. Hi Rachel,
    I’m visiting today from Holley’s link-up. I have never heard that story about the carrot, egg and coffee, but what a good one it is! Such good thoughts about how we react and weather difficulties in our lives — I enjoyed my visit here today!

  4. Jenn S says:

    Thanks for sharing this, Rachel. I hadn’t heard that illustration before. I am sad to know people who are eggs or carrots. You are the coffee!!

  5. Kathleen says:

    I enjoyed your post. I have lately been a mix of a carrot and an egg. With prayer I am working on brewing a great cup of coffee πŸ™‚
    Visiting as neighbor on Coffee for your Heart

    • Merciful Mornings says:

      So glad you stopped by, Kathleen! I do think reaching “coffee status” takes time, effort, experience, and a whole lot of prayer!! πŸ™‚

  6. Such a lovely story! I’d like to think I’m the coffee.

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