Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: The Kingdom of God (03/12/09)
- TITLE: All That Rigmarole
By Sheri Gordon
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“And you are…?” I do not know this person who is welcoming me home, and I don’t see anyone else to constitute the ‘we’ he is referring to. I do know this is not the single-story, red-tile-roof, cookie-cutter house I have lived in for five years.
“I’m Saint Peter…you can call me Pete. Funny, I thought you would have heard of me. You know…Saint Peter? Pearly Gates? Book of Life? All that rigmarole?
This is not happening to me. I am not standing at the—what is this, the entrance to Heaven?—having a conversation with…Saint Pete. And did he just call the process of entering into the Holy presence of God rigmarole?
The last thing I remember was riding the lift to the top of Mammoth Mountain.
“I have your official transcripts, and the good news is…you’re in!”
With that announcement, confetti and streamers fall from above, and a great host of angels belt out the Hallelujah Chorus. Okay, I don’t know that it’s a host of angels; it could be coming from an iPod that Pete turned on under his little podium-thing. Nevertheless, the Hallelujah Chorus ends, and Celebrate Good Times blares forth. (Side note—Saint Pete has some moves.)
So…back to my predicament. Apparently, I am dead. Not surprising, given the circumstances. I’m not a very good skier, and I should never have been on that slope. So much for trying to impress some stupid guy.
Saint Peter wipes his brow and assures me there will be plenty of time for singing and dancing later; now, it is time to get down to business. With great fanfare, he opens the book in front of him.
Uh-oh. Now comes the part where I’m going to hear about ripping my sister’s dress, lying to my mom about eating all the cookies, sneaking out after curfew, drinking before I was of age, and…well, you get the picture. After thirty-two years of less-than-stellar behavior, it is time to pay the piper…face the music…take my medicine. Just get it over with fast. Rip it off like a band aid.
“First, there was that time when you were eight, and you grabbed your sister”—here it comes—“before she ran into the street. Then you slept with her that night because she was scared.” Phew, dodged that bullet.
“And the cookie caper…”—I’m sorry for lying—“making cookies with your mom every year, even when you were a teenager and thought it was lame.” Oh, I miss those times since Mom passed away. Hey, if I’m in Heaven, or almost in Heaven, won’t Mom be…
Before I could finish my thought, Peter brought up the night I took care of my roommate when she had the flu, and the time I worked on Thanksgiving so my boss could be with his family. Saint Peter never mentioned any of the sinful acts from my life; instead he quoted Psalm 103:12—“As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.”
I know good deeds are not the reason I’m standing here now, but it’s pretty cool hearing Pete talk about my better side.
“Now…let’s discuss your job.”
My job? You mean I have to work in Heaven? Aren’t there churches that believe you have to earn your way into God’s Kingdom—why not let them do all the work?
“This position has been chosen especially for you.”
Well then…it must be sports-related. Or something outdoorsy. If God personally selected my job, I’m sure it will be amazing. I eagerly anticipate hearing something like ‘Commissioner of Heavenly Kingdom Baseball,’ or ‘Paradise Beach Patrol.’
“You are assigned to be a librarian.”
“What?! There must be some mistake.”
Okay, that’s a bit lame. There are no mistakes in Heaven. Still…
Peter consults the book. “It says here you love to read.”
“And you’re a numbers nerd.”
“True. But what does that have to do with being a librarian?”
“Mr. Dewey himself requested you.”
“Mr. Dewey?” I don’t know any Mr. Dewey. Wait a minute… “You mean, the Mr. Dewey? Of the Dewey Decimal System?” How could I say ‘no’ to the man who developed the perfect union between books and numbers?
Saint Peter nods and gives me that ‘told ya so’ look.
Guess my Father still knows what’s best for me…even when I think I know better.
“Oh, and Missy…you can catch an Angels game this weekend.”
Author’s Note: This is purely fictional. The author has no knowledge as to whether Melvin Dewey was a Christian or not.
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