I was visiting with my friend Alan Hall the other day. Alan is the Associational Missionary in Mulberry Association. The occasion was a prayer time with his pastors. He shared the idea of a sermon he has preached entitled Be the Bean. I must admit that I had never heard the phrase. Then I heard this story:
A young woman went to her mother 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 wanted to give up. She was tired of fighting and struggling. Her mother took her to the kitchen. She filled three pots with water. In the first she placed carrots, in the second she placed eggs, and in 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. Finally, she ladled the coffee out and placed it in a bowl as well. Turning to her daughter, she asked, “Tell me, what do you see?” “Carrots, eggs, and coffee,” she replied.
She brought her daughter closer and asked her to feel the carrots. She did and noted that they were soft and mushy. She then asked her to take the egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, the daughter observed the hardened egg. Finally, the mother asked her to sip the coffee. The daughter smiled as she tasted its deep flavor and inhaled its rich aroma. The daughter then asked, “What’s the point, mother?”
Her mother 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 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.
However, the ground coffee beans were unique. After they were in the boiling water they had changed the water. “Which are you?” she asked her daughter. “When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a carrot, an egg, or a coffee bean?”
Our calling as Christians is to infiltrate our culture. It is our duty to be the bean. Every chair in our Sunday School classes and small groups, every pew in our worship centers and every family in our church has people that struggle with this. Some are trying to be carrots and others eggs. When the hot water of life comes their way they either soften and fall apart or get hard to the core. God is calling us to Be the Bean.
GCRC will assist your church to infiltrate your culture as a coffee bean or tea bag will in hot water. Your GBC Regional State Missionary is available to assist you in becoming a more effective Great Commission Resource Center.