Sunday, February 22, 2015

The Parable of the Spoon

I was in the kitchen this morning as Elsa was pouring herself a bowl of cereal. The dishwasher - which I ran the night before - had not yet been emptied so Elsa opened it and grabbed a spoon.

"Oh, this is still dirty." she said casually as she placed the spoon into the sink and grabbed another one from the dishwasher.

Still dirty?

Curious, I picked up the spoon and examined it. It was shining. So I called Elsa over and asked her to show me where it was dirty. She pointed to the tiniest water spot on the bottom left curve:

 photo 6283095b-3e6d-42a3-b6d7-624e0b217dd5_zps8d314ab5.jpg
[The 'dirty' spoon. See the water spot? Me either.]


I couldn't help but find the ironic humor in it. What a difference 15 months can make! Elsa went from a culture where they use their hands to eat each meal, to returning a spoon to the sink because of a water spot. 

I spent the morning thinking about how much she has learned and changed since she came here to America. Somewhere, sometime in the 15 months since we adopted her from Ethiopia, she learned the art of being critical. Because I can guarantee you she wasn't like that before she moved here. It stood out as a strong reminder that I need to be cautious of the example I set. I need not focus on the small imperfections, but rather on the big blessings. There will always be the good and the bad -  that's the way life is, plain and simple.  The beauty of it all comes in the fact that we can choose what to look for. Do we seek to find fault; to be offended; to continually be dissatisfied? Or do we choose to live with gratitude; to love and to serve; to be happy?

I vote we choose happiness.

So go grab a spoon and enjoy a bowl of cereal.

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