Ever pondered about the seemingly humble peppercorn that makes all the difference in taste?
Imagine for a while that you are a berry of the Piper nigrum plant grown mainly in India. One fine day, the fairly immature, almost-ripen berry is hanging out with its fellow berries just minding its own business when it is abruptly yanked out and thrown into a foreign land. The berry starts to shake; quiver with fear; it is confused.
All of a sudden everything the berry has once known becomes but a distant memory. One moment it was basking in the warm rays of the sun enjoying life as it was, the next the berry finds itself fumbling around in darkness, trying to keep its balance as the basket which the berry now call home sways violently – the berry feels lost.
In fear and confusion, the berry cries out “Help... Help... Help!!”
The swaying comes to a sudden stop. The berry breaths a breath of relief, thinking the worse is over! Short-lived moment of ‘peace’ it is, as another wave of violent rattling shoves the berry into yet another foreign land. Loud clanging and a hard-cold surface greet the weary, wounded berry. “Will this ever stop???” the berry cries out. What follows is a unimaginable. Boiling water is poured onto the berry. Water fills every corner of the container... the berry is ‘drowned’ in boiling water... it is scorched and hurt. As quickly as the last ‘trial’ the berry is shoved into yet another ‘trial’. The berry is lifted from the boiling water, and left to ferment and dry naturally in the sun until all that’s left from that once juicy berry is a wrinkled,black...seemingly ugly shriveled raisin-look-alike. It is now a peppercorn.
Confusion still envelopes the peppercorn. Constant questions of “Why? Why me? Why now? Why this? WHY?” torments the mind of the peppercorn. The peppercorn does not understand why it is in such a mess.
If you thought that was all, you’re dead wrong. The peppercorn finds itself in plastic packaging, being transported into yet another foreign land. The peppercorn sits there... Now, everything looks hopeless, meaningless.
Until one day... the plastic package is ripped open. Down come something big, with five protruding stick-like things, it is warm, gentle, it picks up the peppercorn. Ah... this touch seems different. It is... comforting. The peppercorn starts to feel a tinge of hope, when yet again, it is tossed into boiling water. This is the last straw!
“Is there No end to this?!” Rounding up every ounce of strength, the peppercorn puts up its last fight, battling against the scorching waves and ferocious currents. Its energy is exerted... weak... Helpless, the peppercorn finally yields... surrendering and succumbing to change.
Memories of what it once was... the processes and trials, the ‘long and narrow road’ it traveled. Memories flashed through the peppercorn. It finally yielded. Slowly, the peppercorn notices a change.
“Hey, what is this aroma I smell? What is this taste I taste? Wait... it’s coming from me! This can’t be right?! I am not capable of this, not me! How could something so beautiful come out from me – a wrinkled, shriveled, ugly being; How can this be?"
Down comes a ladle, the same hands that tossed the peppercorn into the pot of boiling water now known as soup, picks up a bit of soup and tastes it. Delight fills the face, a look of contentment, a look of approval. The cook is pleased.
The peppercorn now realizes, "This is what I was made for! This is why I was put through so much! This is why, this is why, this is why!"
"For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope."
Sometimes, we need to go through the motion, no matter how painful it is. Then, we wait for our time to shine. All the time we have is an investment. Waste it not, make full use of it. It's a gift from God.
Love & Peace!~