Thursday, February 18, 2016

The Rich Man and St Peter

(This story is a product of imagination. Any similarity to known historical figures is probably intentional)

Imagine: A very rich man dies and when he gets to the gates of heaven, Peter asks him, why he is there. The rich man looks confused as if everyone knew why he was sent there. "To make it great", he said. "To make it greater than it has ever been", he was almost shouting. "No one will even remember how it was before I got here because it will be so great", he continued. And he would have gone on had not Peter raised his hand to stop him. "It's already great here," Peter said, rather amused by this rich man. "What makes you think we need you here to make it greater?", Peter asked the rich man who was not smiling. "Everyone - every place needs me, the rich man stated, I have made everything I have ever touched greater." "How about an example", Peter asked reaching for his cell phone. "I've built great towers" (we know how God feels about towers is what Peter thinks to himself). "I have built great entertainment centers" (the thought of the golden calf flits through Peter's mind). "I have been a great tv star (Peter looks again for he doesn't remember this man on Touched By An Angel). "Ok, Peter says, but what good have you done specifically?" "I've told you, I have done great things and you will see even greater things when I get done!" Peter's thoughts had gone to something Jesus said to Nathaniel about seeing greater things. There seemed to be a disconnect here. "There is a difference between great things and good things," Peter pointed out. "No doubt you have done some good things no one knows about?" Peter said questioningly. "I doubt it, the rich man said, I am a reality tv star." Peter was itching to look at the text that had come in a moment ago so trying to bring this conversation to some conclusion he brought up fruits.
What fruits has your life born?
I've made life better for people.
In what ways?
I've improved the real estate on earth. I've built walls to keep people safe. I've kept undesirables away. Don't you know great crowds come to hear me speak all the time. I must have done something right. All those people can't be wrong.
Peter finally looked at his text. It was from the Greatest Who is the Servant of All. Looking up at the rich man Peter said, "ok, you can come in but you have to wait in that room over there with the "P" on it. There is some reading you need to do. Dante is a good place to start. Then, there is some kitchen work that needs to be done. This may take awhile.
"And what if I don't want to do that," the rich man said, walking away.

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