Once upon a time, in a kingdom far far away, there lived a wealthy king. He owned many great possessions–castles, prized stallions, and land as far as the eye could see. Of all of his possessions, however, the fairest of all was his coffee maker. For years, the coffee maker had brewed countless cups of coffee to the king’s delight. He happily anticipated his first cup each and every day.
One morning, however, a pall fell over the servants working in the kitchen. Bernard, the king’s most senior servant, delivered the news: “Dear Sire,” said Bernard, “I have something of great bearing to share with thee.”
“Speak,” said the king. “What have thee to tell me?”
Nervously Bernard shifted before the king. “Thy prized coffee maker, Sire; it has stopped working. A descaler symbol is present. We know not what to do.”
A grave expression fell upon the king’s face. Several moments passed in silence before he spoke. “We shall fix it. Surely there must be a way!”
“I have heard rumour,” said Bernard, “of desclaling tablets that can be added to the water to reverse the buildup of lime.”
“Really?” said the king. He scratched his chin as he contemplated the situation. “Then go ye yonder and fetch these descaling tablets and fixeth the problem!”
“Yes, my Sire,” said Bernard. He bowed, departed, and then mounted the king’s fastest steed. For a full day he rode hard and long, searching the neighbouring kingdoms for the fabled tablets. After great effort–with the steed nearly dead–he located the tablets. They were as gold to him; he guarded them with his life. When he returned to the castle, he directed his fellow servants to follow the instructions carefully. Accordingly, they added one tablet to a full tank of water and cycled the mixture through the coffee maker. Eagerly Bernard waited. And waited some more. Alas, when the tank of water had run through, the descaling symbol was still present.
The following day, the king summoned Bernard to his great chamber. “How fare thee with my prized coffee maker?”
“Dear Sire,” said Bernard with great trepidation, “I bear news that is not fair. Thy coffee maker still does not work! I fear we shall have to throw it out and get another!”
“Get another coffee maker!” bellowed the king. “But I don’t want another coffee maker! It is my favourite! I want my coffee maker fixed, for it is the fairest in the land! Fix thee back to the kitchen and attend to the problem!”
“But, but…” stammered Bernard.
“There shall be no buts about it! Fix the problem!”
Bernard departed and conferred with the other servants. On the second attempt, they placed two descaling tablets in the water. The result was the same: the descaling symbol still remained. A great fear befell the servants for the situation appeared hopeless. The following day, Bernard was again summoned by the king.
“How fare thee?” asked the king.
Bernard’s mournful expression told it all. “I fear, dear Sire, that the problem cannot be fixed.” He shrugged his shoulders and said, “We know not what to do.”
The king directed Bernard to sit before him. “I want you to listen well,” said the king. I have a story to tell you about my good friend Henry Ford, inventor of the automobile.”
Before he could control himself, Bernard spoke out of turn. “But, Sire,” said Bernard, obviously perplexed, “how can that be? Henry Ford is from a future era and cannot possibly be related to this tale.”
The king’s countenance became stern; his voice gruff. “Dost thou pretend to doubt my word?” said the king.
“Nay,” said Bernard, slumping back into his chair. “Continue, please, dear Sire.”
That’s better, said the king. “Well, when my dear friend Henry Ford–who invented the assembly line and automobile–directed his engineers to design and build a V-8 engine that could be fashioned in a single casting, his engineers insisted that it couldn’t be done! They said it was impossible, but Henry decreed that it would be done! Again and again his engineers faced failure, but Henry stood his ground. Ultimately, his belief won out; and as a result his company outsold all of his competitors. I am decreeing no less a task from you. Fix my coffee maker…now! It is because we “believe” that it can be done that it “will be” done!“
“Yes, my Sire,” said Bernard. He shrank his way from the king and hastened to the kitchen.
After much deliberation with the other servants, Bernard decided that this time they would dissolve three descaling tablets in the water. He cycled the solution through the coffee maker and waited desperately, hoping for the best. This was his day to rise and shine–he must! Ten minutes passed. Twenty minutes. Thirty…until the last drop of solution had finally flowed through the king’s prized coffee maker. And…lo?
The descaling symbol had disappeared! The solution had worked! All of the servants rejoiced and there was great merriment in the kitchen. Without delay, Bernard directed a fellow servant to make the king a cup of his favourite coffee (milk only, nudge). He then delivered it to the king post haste.
This time it was the king’s look that told it all. He lifted the cup of coffee from the silver tray that Bernard was holding before him. “Ahh,” said the king after his first sip of coffee. “Now, do you see the importance of continuing to believe and try?”
“Yes, Sire,” said Bernard. Yes, indeed.”
* * *
And of our real dreams–of improved health, greater wealth, better relationships–that add meaning to our days and hold the promise of a greater future? Hold on, hold on, hold on! Their achievement may be much closer than you realize. One more faithful attempt may make all of the difference. So often it does.
Dare to dream (and care for one another).
With heartfelt regards,
Copyright © – 2020 – R. Arthur Russell
P.S. Please share this article if you enjoyed it. If you’d like to view my latest book (This Taste of Flesh and Bones–released September 8, 2020), press here. May it help you in your spiritual journey. 🙏🙏