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The Tea Cup

A lump of gray clay was sitting on the shelf next to beautiful teacup.  The clay says to the teacup, “Is this all there is to life, just sitting here not doing much of anything?  Why can’t I be just like you, a teacup that people love, and say is very beautiful?”  The teacup says, “Not too long ago, I was just like you.  One day soon you will be a teacup too, and people will say that you too are very beautiful and they will also want to take you home with them.”  “Yes, I would LOVE that,” says the lump of clay, “Can you ask the Master to make me into a beautiful teacup?”
Right HERE, in THIS part of the story, the clay is just ASKING to become a teacup.  But HUMBLY asking is a little different than that, as will be shown by the REST of the story.

The teacup continues: “Let me tell you what it takes to become the most gorgeous, the most beautiful little teacup that everyone admires and loves.

“I didn't always look like this.  There was a time in my life when I too was just a hard cold lump of gray clay.  Well, one day my Master came along and He picked me up and He began to pat me and roll me and I said, 'What are you doing, stop it, quit, that hurts, don't do that, ouch, leave me alone.'  And He simply said, 'Not yet.'

“And then He put me on this wheel and began to spin me around and around and around and I said, 'I'm getting dizzy, getting sick to my stomach, let me off of here, I can't stand this, oh, oh, what's happening, my whole shape is changing, stop it, stop it.'  And He said, 'Not yet.'

After my shape had changed, He began to paint me all over.  I said, 'Eew, cough, cough, that stuff stinks, stop it, stop it.'  And He still said, 'Not yet.'

“Then He put me in this oven and closed the door.  The oven had a little window and He kept just looking at me.  And I said, 'I can't stand this heat, let me out of here, cough, cough, don't You love me, let me out of here, why are You just looking at me?'  And He simply looked at me through the door and said, 'Not yet.'

“Then, finally, He opened the door, took me and dried me on the shelf for a while and put another coat of that awful paint on me (cough, cough).  And then He turned that oven back on seven times hotter than it was before and put me back in there again, and I said, 'What are you doing, I can't stand this, You don't understand, I can't do this, I can't take it, let me out of here,'  He just looked through the glass at me and said, 'Not yet.'

“Finally one day, He opened the door, took me out and set me on the shelf, let me cool off for a while and then came by with a mirror and He held it up in front of me and I couldn't believe it.  I was so beautiful, I was so changed, I was so different.  I didn't even look like that old lump of gray clay any more.  And now people EVERYWHERE appreciate and love me.”