Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Parable of the Crock Pot

Once upon a time a lonely little Crock Pot sat in the furthermost corner of a lower shelf, next to discarded bowls, chipped plates and other little-used kitchenware. Although at one time, Crock was the star of the kitchen, she now sat pining away in her dark and dusty corner dreaming of better days and wishing things were different, “If only I could have things the way they used to be!” she mourned.

Crock had contributed so nicely to the Clark household, gently heating Sunday’s chicken dinner and simmering stew on cold winter days. The family would come into the house and take deep breaths to suck in the seasoned aromas and exclaim, “Mmmmmmm! Dinner smells good!”

But those days were gone. Everyone was in a hurry now. The kids were all in school and on Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays Mrs. Clark could be heard to say repeatedly, “Hurry, children, we’ll be late for soccer!” On Tuesdays the girls went to piano lessons and on Thursdays the boys went to gymnastics. Fridays were also challenging with sleepovers, movie nights, dances, bowling. And, of course, Saturday was mom and dad’s “date night.” There seemed to be no end to the frenzied existence of the Clark household.

Day after day as Crock sat in her corner she thought about her days of stardom. She remembered how great it felt to sparkle next to her friend Toaster. But now the Clarks seemed to prefer fast food and the microwave. Toaster was still in his place but Crock, the slow cooker, was a relic of the past.

One morning, Crock heard a terrible hacking sound coming from one of the girls and wondered what it was. The next day, her older brother was making the same sound. One by one, the Clark family seemed to be stricken with the same malady that finally became less noticeable. However, about 10 days later, Mr. Clark didn’t go to work, saying he had a terrible stomachache and his head felt awful. Mrs. Clark said she didn’t feel well either and went to take a nap.

A few days later Crock heard a strange voice in the kitchen. She gathered that it was a friend of Mrs. Clark and wondered what was happening. Someone opened the dark cupboard’s door and reached in. Crock’s heart began to beat wildly as she hoped against hope that the hand was reaching for her. But, alas, the hand moved some of the plates and a rusty grater and settled on old Blender. “Lucky her!” thought Crock. Pretty soon she heard a loud whirring and then something being poured into glasses. Mrs. Clark exclaimed, “Why, this is delicious! You know, our family has not been well since we’ve been eating fast food and micro waved meals! Things have got to change!”

Change they did! Later that day, Crock felt a hand grab her around the middle, carry her to the sink where she delighted in a thorough scrub. The hands placed her up on the counter, between old Blender and her friend, Toaster. She beamed and sparkled and began again to produce delicious and nutritious meals for the Clark household. She enjoyed listening to the unhurried conversation at the dinner table and especially Mr. Clark saying that the meal was the juiciest and tastiest he could ever remember.

Every morning and mid-afternoon Crock observed Mrs. Clark whirring old Blender with a delicious concoction of fruit, juice or milk and some kind of powder that Mrs. Clark’s friend brought over from time to time. And every Sunday, Crock was the proud producer of a tasty meal—just like old times. One evening Mrs. Clark was heard to say,

“You know, honey, I used to take our family’s health for granted. The microwave seemed like such a great idea, but there is nothing like a good protein drink along with a slow cooked meal! Our family is so much healthier and happier now that we’re taking time for the really important things!”

It’s folly to think that we can have good health or grow healthy businesses with microwave treatments. Slow, consistent “cooking” (or effort) will bring eventual success if done with the right ingredients

The Doctor's Comments:
This reminds me of 100 year-old Eubie Blake who said, "If I'd known I was gonna live this long, I'd have taken better care of myself!"

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