Early County News

God uses it all

All That’s Fit to Print



There is an old story of the woman who walked to a river every day to get water for her family.

She carried a large stick across her shoulders with a large pot tied to each end. One of the pots had a small crack in it and everyday on the return trip home, water dripped slowly from the cracked pot. By the time the woman got home, the cracked pot held less water than the full pot.

The woman was not disturbed when she found the crack. The next day, she put flower seeds in her pocket and dropped flower seeds along the side of the road and the water dripping from the pot gave them life.

The path she traveled was filled with beautiful flowers when the seeds took root.

The moral of the story is, of course, that cracked pots have value which in turn becomes crack pots which I think is aimed at those of us who sometimes walk a little off the centerline.

And, it is a good story and a good reminder that while we might think some things we do or some faults we find in ourselves are not of value, they might be to someone else.

As I do a quick inventory of some of my more peculiar “idiotsyncracies,” I am still lacking the matching list of how each of mine contributes to society. I’m sure the answer is there somewhere, I just haven’t found it.

Writer Anne Lamott tells this story. She remembers a childhood evening when her younger brother sat at the kitchen table surrounded by books and paper and pencils. He was crying.

Her father entered the kitchen and asked his son what was wrong. It seems the young boy neglected to start on a long homework assignment until the last minute. Now he was faced with writing dozens of reports on different kinds of birds in one night.

The father said, “Son, just take it bird by bird.”

I tend to be the kid at the kitchen table with all the books and papers. I see the final product, the huge accomplishment, but sometimes I forget to take the project bird by bird. We do the same with life.

Everything has a purpose — dropped seeds, counting birds.

And after the last two years of craziness, easing back to normal, it might help if we follow that philosophy.

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