A traveler was on his way to a conference in a major city and along the way he noticed another man struggling to build his home. He smiled and made a compliment, then hurried along his way. Later, he encountered another man trying to convince many to come out of a burning building, the exit was clear but they seemed to be ignoring his instructions. He stopped for a minute and encouraged the man that he shouldn’t waste his time if the people inside wouldn’t listen, “you should come with me to this conference” he replied and continued on his way as the smell of smoke and burning flesh singed his nostrils. He thought to himself, what a fool, if he only knew who I was going to see and how blessed I will be.
Later along the road he encountered another man who was intrigued by the smell of burning flesh on his clothing. “You must be some kind of hero” he stated, “I would have never had the nerve to try saving people from flames.” The traveler exclaimed, “Only by the grace and strength of God my friend” and hurried on his way. Approaching a town known for its fine linens and clothiers, the traveler then thought to himself, I’d better get a new suit of clothes before I arrive at the conference. Just as the words entered his mind a woman who was scantily dressed and hungry asked him for a few cents to help her buy food for herself and her children, He looked around seeing no children and assumed the woman to be an addict and a liar and ignored her plea for help. He thought, we must be wise as serpents in this evil age, and rushed to put her in the distance behind him.
When he entered the town, he brought for himself the finest outfit of silk and linen and shoes and a hat to match. He then treated himself to a banquet style meal and drank fine wines and ate deserts from the finest bakeries near and far. After being satisfied he completed his journey to the great city where the conference was to be held. Upon his arrival there was great distress in the city, dark colors were hung in windows and many who lived in the city were very mournful.
The traveler asked, “What is going on here, and why are all of you so mournful? Haven’t you heard about the conference starting today?” “I traveled many days being distracted by many obstacles and yet by God’s grace I’ve made it.” Off he went to the conference center unconcerned by the cries of the town people, thinking to himself, my blessing awaits me, I must not be distracted by this foolishness!
When he arrived at the conference center to his great surprise, there was a large sign posted on the entrance reading, “Conference Canceled due to the untimely death of the expected messenger. The Man of God was killed along the road when a burning building collapsed on him as he attempting to lead others out of the flames. We will all miss him greatly!”
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