Behold, if you will, the unassuming cocoa bean. Does it look like anything special to you? It has no flowers to attract the discerning bee. Its brown and rough exterior betrays no hint of the potential it possesses. Perhaps the cocoa bean would have remained in obscurity forever, merely a pod for the continued growth of the cacao tree. But the wise ancients saw beyond the immediate lack of promise. Something about the bean caught their imagination, and they started to play with the possibilities. I’m sure they hit a lot of dead ends...it doesn’t look like it would work very well as a weapon. Lobbing it at enemies would probably cause no more than a nasty bruise. It’s an odd shape, not very suitable as a building material. Clothing seems out of the question.
And yet, the ancients continued tweaking and poking at the humble bean. Perhaps they were unwavering in their belief that everything has a purpose to be discovered and a destiny to be fulfilled. Perhaps they stopped and started, put it aside, tinkered with something else, shared information and inspiration. Maybe they even lost hope and threw it across the field, watching it half heartedly thud to the ground, no good even as a child’s toy.
Over time (chocolate cooks best at a slow simmer, after all), the cocoa bean revealed its tantalizing secret. And the earliest version of chocolate was born, known even then as a food of the gods. Our ancient family was rewarded for their patience with a delectable treasure--a celebration!
What in our lives is like the cocoa bean? Quiet, ordinary, seemingly useless and dull? What appears brown and lumpy, misshapen? Is it possible that with a little imagination and play, some of those life beans could yield a chocolate benediction? After all, the ancients didn’t know they were looking for chocolate--they were just convinced that every seed and tree and plant has a reason. And aren’t you just as valuable to the world as a seed or tree or plant?
Maybe we could be like the ancients for our souls, tending our worthless bits until we discover their gifts...whatever they may be? We might discover something vital that could change the world.
After all, that’s how we got chocolate.
Labels: sunday scribblings