There was once a water bearer in India who had two large pots, each hung on each end of a pole which he carried across his neck. One of the pots had a crack in it, and while the other pot was perfect and always delivered a full portion of water at the end of the long walk from the stream to the master’s house, the cracked pot arrived only half full.

For a full two years this went on daily, with the bearer delivering only one and a half pots full of water in his master’s house. Of course, the perfect pot was proud of its accomplishments, perfect to the end for which it was made. But the poor cracked pot was ashamed of its own imperfection, and miserable that it was able to accomplish only half of what it had been made to do.

After two years of what it perceived to be a bitter failure, it spoke to the water bearer one day by the stream. “I am ashamed of myself, and want to apologize to you.” “Why?” asked the bearer. “What are you ashamed of?” “I have been able, for these past two years, to deliver only half my load because this crack in my side causes water to leak out all the way back to your master’s house. Because of my flaws, you have to do all of this work, and you don’t get full value from your efforts,” the pot said.

The water bearer felt sorry for the old cracked pot, and in his compassion he said, “As we return to the master’s house, I want you to notice the beautiful flowers along the path.”

Indeed, as they went up the hill, the old cracked pot took notice of the sun warming the beautiful wild flowers on the side of the path, and this cheered it some. But at the end of the trail, it still felt bad because it had leaked out half its load, and so again he expressed his feeling to the water bearer.

He replied by saying, “Did you notice that flowers were only on your side of your path, but not on the other pot’s side? That’s because I have always known about your flaw, and I took advantage of it. I planted flower seeds on your side of the path, and every day while we walk back from the stream, you’ve watered them. For two years I have been able to pick these beautiful flowers to decorate my master’s table. Without you being just the way you are, he would not have this beauty to grace his house.”

The moral of this story is that we all have our faults, but we all have a path to follow and that path we make must have a reason to our being.

Author Unknown


Helpful Links and References:

Books The Cracked Pot has been published in. . .

  • The Spirit of Camp (Page 363) by Sharilyn A. Ross
  • Lay Your Cards on the Table: 52 Ways to Stack Your Personal Deck (Page 9) by Rosanne D’Ausilio © 2005
  • Heart 2 Heart – 101 Topics Illustrated with Stories, Anecdotes and Incidents for Preachers, Teachers, Value Instructors, Parents and Children by Joji Valli
  • Becoming Myself; Becoming HIS: Living the Life God Designed for You (Page 129) by Kay Watson © 2009
  • Empowered Church Leadership: Ministry in the Spirit According to Paul (Page 80) by Brian J. Dodd © 2003
  • Stomping Out Depression (Page 164) by Neil T. Anderson and David Park © 2001
  • A Journey Toward Contentment (Page 86) by Robyn Joy © 2010
  • Becoming a Woman Who Pleases God: A Guide to Developing Your Biblical Potential (Page 267) by Pat Ennis and Lisa Tatlock © 2003