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Boiled By Our Challenges



Went the door as Sari came in. “It’s not fair,” she yelled out loud. “Rochel was picked for the leading role in the class play, I got my history report back today and I only got a B. I am sure I deserved an A+, Ms. Levy just doesn’t like me! Everything is going wrong today!”

Bubby, who was visiting for the day, noticed the commotion and came over to Sari. “What’s the matter Sari, why are you so upset?”

Sari burst into tears, “I am so miserable! Everything is terrible! My teacher changed my seat to the back and I can hardly see the board, My best friend went to study with someone else last night, and I lost the post of my favorite earring. Mommy made me a tuna fish sandwich to take to school for lunch, everyone was grossed out. Everything today just went wrong!”

“Woah! Sounds like you had a really bad day,” agreed Bubby. “Sari,” Bubby smiled, “want to see something interesting?”

Sari looked up curiously. Bubby placed three pots of water on the stovetop and turned on a high flame under each. She took out a potato, a raw egg, and ground coffee beans. When the water came to a boil, Bubby added her weird assortment of ingredients, one to each pot. The pots bubbled on the stove as Bubby sat calmly, clearly not aware that she was doing anything unusual. About fifteen minutes later, Bubby removed the potatoes from the pot and placed them in a bowl. She took the eggs out and placed them on a dish. Then she ladled the coffee and filled a mug. “Curious what I’m doing?” she asked. “Very!” said Sari, hoping Bubby would finally explain her mysterious behavior.

“What do you see, Sari?” asked Bubby. “Potatoes, eggs, and coffee” Sari warily replied. “Touch the potatoes,” Bubby instructed. Sari did so. They were soft, even mushy. “Take an egg and open it.” Sari peeled an egg. It was hard. Finally, Bubby had Sari sip the coffee; its rich aroma and delicious taste brought a smile to Sari’s face.

“The potatoes, eggs, and coffee beans each faced the same situation, the boiling water. But each reacted differently. The potato went in strong and hard, but in boiling hot water became mushy and weak.  The delicate egg went in with a liquid inside, but in the heat became hard and firm. However, the coffee beans were unique. After spending time in the boiling water, they transformed the water and made it into something warm and refreshing. The beans changed the water, instead of being changed by the water. In life, Sari, we are often faced with adversity, things just don’t always happen the way we want them to. In fact, sometimes life seems very bitter. We can fall apart and become mushy like a potato, we can harden ourselves like an egg and just block everything around out; we can be changed by our challenges. Or, we can grow from our challenges, like the coffee bean, which is very bitter at first but when boiled in boiling water becomes sweet and refreshing and sweetens everything around it. Sari, it all depends on how you look at it, it’s your choice; you can choose to be a potato, an egg, or a coffee bean.

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