A Cup of Hot Chocolate

A group of graduates, well established in their careers, were talking at a reunion and decided to go visit one of their old university professors, now retired. During their visit, the conversation turned to complaints about stress in work and their lives.

Offering his guests hot chocolate, the professor went into the kitchen and returned with a large pot of hot chocolate and an assortment of cups-porcelain, glass, crystal, some plain-looking, some expensive, some exquisite— telling them to help themselves to the hot chocolate. When they all had a cup of hot chocolate in hand, the professor said:

I noticed that all the nice looking; expensive cups were taken, leaving behind the plain and cheap ones. While it is normal for you to want only the best for yourselves, that is the source of your problems and stress. The cup that you’re drinking from adds nothing to the quality of the hot chocolate. In most cases it is just more expensive and in some cases even hides what we drink. What all of you really wanted was hot chocolate, not the cup; but you consciously went for the best cups…then you began eyeing each others cups. ”Now consider this: Life is the hot chocolate; your job, money and position in society are the cups. They are just tools to hold and contain life. The cup you have does not define, nor change the quality of life you have. Sometimes, by concentrating only on the cup, we fail to enjoy the hot chocolate we have.”

        Judy Baker, a dear friend of mine who has passed to her reward,  shared this story with me several years ago with the note, “I thought it was a good little thought provoker.”  And, well it is!  What thoughts does it provoke in your mind?

The happiest people don’t necessarily have the best of everything. They just make the best of everything that they have. Live simply. Love generously. Care deeply. Speak kindly. And enjoy hot chocolate!

I also think of two passages:  First the statement of Jehovah to Samuel as he chose David to be the future King of Israel.  “But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at his physical stature, because I have refused him. For the LORD does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.”  (1 Sam 16:7, NKJV)

      The second was Jesus scathing rebuke of the Pharisees’ hypocrisy.  “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you cleanse the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of extortion and self-indulgence.   Blind Pharisee, first cleanse the inside of the cup and dish, that the outside of them may be clean also.”  (Matt. 23: 25-26, NKJV)

      Too often Christians are influenced by the world to look at appearances.  To make superficial judgments about people. And to determine value, worth and importance based on how someone or something “looks.”  When we become rigid in our attitude about what is on the outside, we are prone to miss what is on the inside.  Love. Justice. Mercy.  Compassion.  These are the inner qualities the Lord is looking at.  As you look at your life and others, what do you see?  Drink deeply from that which is within and don’t worry about the cup.

 —Ken Weliever, The Preacherman


Filed under Life, Uncategorized

8 responses to “A Cup of Hot Chocolate

  1. Larry

    Interesting thoughts, Ken. I believe I will have a cup of hot chocolate!!!


  2. Judy Bertram

    Very great thoughts today. I hope you don’t mind if I use your’s and Judy’s story in my Bible study tonight. We are going through the fruits of the spirit and we have been focusing on how we cannot grow in any of them without real love (agape) as the root system for them all. This post today is an excellent point of that. Thank you, Ken!


  3. Penny Scott

    Drink deeply and enjoy!


  4. Sharron Kurish

    I love this story also. Wonderful lesson. I knew Judy Baker and she is very much missed.


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  6. Norm Webb

    Ken, you are right. I didn’t see this post originally, but how powerful it is! Great to see you at Lectures and the encouragement through the years.


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