Heaven’s admissions office, this morning:
“Mornin’ Sal! Beautiful day, isn’t it?”
“As always, Ben.”
Ben looked at the large folder in Sal‘s hand. “Is that another one?”
“Yes, he’s not here yet but he will be soon.”
“So what’s his story?”
Sal sat down next to Ben, plunking the heavy folder on the table in front of them. “Car accident…about 20 minutes ago, their time. He was only 42.”
Ben opened the folder and looked over the information. His eyes widened as he turned the pages.
“Wow, this guy had it all…talent, personality, looks. So many spiritual gifts, too! The Master really blessed him. He must’ve been a powerhouse for the Kingdom down there!”
Sal’s expression was grim. “Keep going.”
Ben continued flipping through the pages until he got to the end and then looked confused. “Where’s the section of his rewards? Did I miss it? Surely he did some wonderful things with all his abilities.”
“I’m afraid you won’t find very much in the eternal section of his life folder. He was given so much and dabbled here and there, but spent the vast majority of his time accumulating things for himself. You can see he has, well, had a very nice car.” Sal pointed through the pages in the folder. “Big house, vacations, designer clothes-”
“But those are just things!” Ben interrupted. “Where’s the good stuff? The lasting stuff! All of that other stuff will be forgotten as soon as he sets foot here.”
“Exactly. And that’s not the worst part. Look at this.”
Sal turned to a section full of notes and pictures.
“Wow, what’s all this?” Ben wondered.
“That, my friend…is what could have been. All that the Master had planned for him. All the lives that were never touched because he just sat on what he had or used it just for himself. I‘m sure he thought he had more time. They all do.”
Ben blinked as he turned the pages. “Look at all these people. I sure hope someone else will reach them…” his voice drifted off.
“Me too, but only the Master knows that right now.”
Ben thought for a moment. “Well, he must’ve gone to church, right? Surely he did something there.”
“Oh, he went…unless he had other plans. He would even throw a few dollars in the collection plate now and then. He wasn’t overtly disobedient, at least in man's perception, but he never made much of an effort to do any more than the bare minimum. He loved God, in his own way, but he just loved himself so much more.”
“Will he make it?” Ben asked softly.
“He’ll make it, barely.” Sal answered. “But he won’t be bringing much with him.”
Sal pulled two thin sheets of paper from the folder. “Out of all this man did his whole life, this is all that will remain. Not much to build an eternal home with, is it?”
The two were silent as they looked over the man’s life spread out before them. Suddenly an alarm sounded.
“He’s here,” Sal announced. “Let’s go.”
He stood, holding the two thin sheets in his hand. Looking back at Ben, he motioned to the folder. “You know what to do with the rest of that.”
Ben nodded. Slowly he picked up the folder and walked over to a large incinerator. He heaved the folder inside and quickly shut the door. Shaking off the heat and ash and trying to smile, he joined Sal as they made their way down to the front gate.
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