There once was a man who had a very prideful heart. Whenever someone would accidentally say or do something to anger or hurt him, and then would try to make amends, the prideful man would be unforgiving.
He thought he was wiser, and much better than anyone else. When it came to what he felt he deserved as his right out of life, he was very self-centered, even though otherwise he led a somewhat decent life.
He gained much in worldly wealth through his attitude that he deserved the best and that life owed it to him. Yet he never took the time to appreciate and enjoy the things that he had accrued through his selfish, prideful attitude, but rather was always seeking more.
His heart was never content.
Now there was another man who lived in the same town as the prideful man who, though not truly poor, still was not well off, he had barely enough to live comfortably. Now this man, for all of his labors, never seemed to get ahead, no matter how hard he worked, and never seemed to be able to get beyond his current station in life.
But he did not let it harden his heart, but rather was humbly grateful for the things that he did have, a loving family, some good friends, his home and his health. He drew peace and joy from just the knowledge that he had been granted these things.
He was kind, generous in the sharing of what little he did have if it meant helping a fellowman, patient, meek and forgiving. He went out of his way to attempt to avoid hurting others.
He gained his comfort in life from always being aware of from where the good things in his life came, and always giving thanks to God each day for the things he was blessed with.
His heart was content.
Now these two totally different men both worked at the same job. One day the prideful man’s car broke down as he was leaving from work and he asked the humble man for a ride home. On the way home they came to a long bridge across a deep, fast flowing river. They were nearly to the center of the bridge when suddenly, there, right in front of them, was a large truck, headed straight for them.
The humble man instinctively turned the steering wheel to avoid a collision…and went straight through the guardrails into the river. Both he and the prideful man perished.
Standing before St. Peter, the two men were both admitted to heaven, because they had both led more or less decent lives.
Gabrielle led the humble man to a large beautiful mansion, filled with things of beauty, while he led the prideful man to a much smaller mansion filled with more ordinary things.
Jealous, the prideful man informed Gabrielle that he must have made a mistake, for he had given the humble man the mansion that should have been his.
Gabrielle looked at the prideful man for a moment, then solemnly told him that he had not made a mistake at all. He told the prideful man that he had already been rewarded for whatever good he had done during his life while he had been on earth, but that the humble man had built his wealth in heaven.
The prideful man was stunned and very saddened, for it was then that he realized that everything that he had accrued while alive did him little good there, for you could not take worldly things with you when you passed from mortality.
It was then that he realized, too late, that he had forgotten one simple thing…life on earth was but for a short span, but life after death was eternal.
He had been so busy trying to accrue worldly treasure that he had given little thought to the treasures of his heart.
And so thus was the prideful man humbled.
MORAL: HEART TREASURE IS MORE PRECIOUS IN HEAVENLY TERMS THAN GOLD.
copyright: marantha jenelle, 2010