By Ox Drover
Someone sent me a forwarded e mail the other day that I had seen before, but this time, as I read the sweet story about how to tell the differences between heaven and hell, I started to think about my own life in relationship to this story. You may have heard it before, but here is the story.
A man was walking along with his dog one day down a pleasant road and he realized that both he and the dog were dead. The road was nice but he began to be tired, hot and thirsty. He came around a bend and saw the most beautiful golden gates, with a kindly looking person standing there. The gate was surrounded by flowers and he thought how beautiful it looked. He approached the kindly looking man and asked where he was. The man softly touched his arm, reassuring him, and then said, “Step into Heaven my friend, you are safely here.” The man started toward this wonderful golden gate, but just before he stepped through., the kindly stranger at the gate said, “Oh, your dog can’t go with you, he has no soul.”
The man looked at his dog, standing faithfully beside him in death as he had in life, and sadly turned away from the entrance to Heaven and started walking down the road again. Soon he came to a very plain looking, rustic gate with a rustic man sitting by the gate.
He approached the man by the gate and said “My dog and I are very thirsty and we would love a drink of water if you could provide us with some.” Of course the rustic man invited the man into his lane, gave him and the dog both a bowl of water and said, “welcome.”
When the man asked “Where am I?” The rustic old man said “Well, son you’re in Heaven” The man was confused and asked about the glittering golden gates he had passed because they wouldn’t let his dog in with him, and the rustic old saint said, “Oh, yea, that’s Hell, we use him to screen out the riff raff. We don’t want anyone here who would desert his dog or a friend for what appears to be the golden gates.”
I got to thinking of that man as an analogy of my life, and I realized that so many times I have deserted my best friend (myself) for what appeared a “golden gate” of the easy path. I have gotten off the Road to Healing long before I even approached taking care of myself. I have entered into the false Heaven because it looked so easy, so wonderful, and I have left my best friend – myself–standing alone out side while I entered into this wonderland of deceit and self deception—again and again.
This time, I am determined to bypass the “quick and easy” solutions and to stay on the road to Healing and to take my best friend with me, to care for her … she deserves my love and nurturing. No one who will not recognize that my best friend is valuable, that I cannot do less than respect her, deserves a place in my life. No one else can take responsibility and make me happy without her. She is ME.