Monday, December 31, 2012

There is One Difference

A man died in a violent car accident and found himself standing in front of the Pearly Gates.   Before him stood St. Peter reading from The Book of Deeds.   When St. Peter finished his reading, he closed the book, looked at the man and said, "Your life has not been the best, yet on the other hand, it was by no means the worstWhere would you prefer to spend your eternity - Heaven or Hell?"

"You mean we have a choice?" asked the man.
"Not always, but in your case since your deeds are right on the border, I will make an exception", St. Peter replied.

The man thought silently then asked, "Could I see both Heaven and Hell before I choose?"  St. Peter thought that was an excellent idea and agreed.   He led the man down a hallway that ended with two doors - one was labeled Hell, the other labeled Heaven.   St. Peter pointed to the door labeled Hell and said, "Feel free to go on in."

The man pushed on the door and immediately heard beautiful music playing.  When he entered Hell, he saw a huge banquet hall filled with thousands of long wooden tables.  People wearing beautiful silk robes were seated at the tables.

On each table were large baskets full of fresh fruit and platters made of gold piled high with delicious foods from around the world.   As he walked through Hell, he noticed something odd.   Every person seated at the tables had large wooden knives and forks strapped to their forearms.   The knives and forks were at least three feet long, making it impossible for anyone to eat the food that was placed before them.

When he left Hell, St. Peter pointed to the door labeled Heaven.   As the man pushed open Heaven's door, he once again heard beautiful music.   Upon entering Heaven, he again saw a large banquet hall full of long wooden tables. Again all the people, exquisitely dressed, were sitting at the tables.   On each table again were baskets of fruit and platters of fine foods.  Finally, he noticed that all the people in Heaven also had large three foot wooden knives and forks strapped to their forearms.

Upon stepping back in the hallway, St. Peter asked, "Well, you have seen them both.  Are you ready to make your decision?" 
"Well," said the man, "There really doesn't seem to be that much difference between the two; however, I did notice one odd thing."

"What was that?" inquired St. Peter.
"Well, the people in Hell all look sad; their bodies are gaunt and frail as if they were all starving. Yet the people in Heaven are laughing and smiling and all look happy, well nourished and healthy. How could that be, St. Peter?  Everything appears to be equal?"