The Egg and the Potato - Sunday, March 12, 2017
Life, it could be said, is a series of choices. While it’s true that we are surrounded by people and problems, they do not determine our course. Yes, we are influenced by things that are beyond our control, but what really makes us who we are is the way we choose to respond to these influences. Our happiness, our outlook on life, and ultimately our destiny are shaped by the choices we make, not solely by our surroundings.
A simple analogy illustrates this truth: Imagine a pot of boiling water. If you place an egg and a potato into the water, after a while the egg will get harder and the potato will get softer. Even though they’re both surrounded by the boiling water, they respond to it differently.
Sometimes life feels like a pot of boiling water, doesn’t it? At some point, we all find ourselves submerged in heartache and difficulties. But as with the egg and the potato, the same hot water can affect people in different ways. We might allow our trials and tribulations to make us harder in our hearts, more callous toward others, more cynical or pessimistic about the world.
On the other hand, if we hold on to hope and strive to remain teachable, the very same trials could, instead, soften our hearts. Over time, we will have more compassion for others who have struggles similar to ours. We will become more patient, more forgiving, slower to judge. We will see our trials as opportunities to identify and correct our shortcomings. Then, not only has the trial made us softer, it has also made us better.
We’re accustomed to talking about softness as weakness, but in this sense, it is true strength! It is a choice to live so that even heart-wrenching difficulties cannot weaken our character. It is a choice to see trials not as obstacles to happiness but as tools to refine us into happier people. So when you feel like you’re drowning in boiling water, remember the egg and the potato. Choose to make the best of your circumstances and respond with softness.
-Lloyd D. Newell
March 12, 2017
Broadcast Number 4,565
Mormon Tabernacle Choir
Orchestra at Temple Square
O Splendor of God’s Glory Bright
German hymn tune; adapted by Michael Praetorius; arr. Mack Wilberg
Sheep May Safely Graze
Johann Sebastian Bach; arr. Katherine K. Davis
Carillon de Westminster
Love Is a Song
Frank Churchill; arr. Arthur Harris
All My Trials
Spiritual; arr. Albert NcNeil
Down by the Riverside
Spiritual; arr. John Rutter