Sunday, July 20, 2008

Mr. Jones


"There's a little fable about a Mr. Jones who dies and goes to heaven. Peter is waiting at the gates to give him a tour. Amid the splendor of golden streets, beautiful mansions, and choirs of angels that Peter shows him, Mr. Jones notices and odd-looking building. He thinks it looks like an enormous warehouse - it has no windows and only one door. But when he asks to see inside, Peter hesitates. "You really don't want to see what's in there," he tells the new arrival. Why would there be any secrets in heaven? Jones wonders. What incredible surprise could be waiting for me in there? When the official tour is over he's still wondering, so he asks again to see inside the structure. Finally Peter relents. When the apostle opens the door, Mr. Jones almost knocks him over in the haste to enter. It turns out that the enormous building is filled with row after row of shelves, floor to ceiling, each stacked neatly with white boxes tied in red ribbons. "These boxes all have names on them," Mr. Jones muses aloud. Then turning to Peter he asks, "Do I have one?" "Yes you do." Peter tries to guide Mr. Jones back outside. "Frankly," Peter says, "if I were you... . " But Mr. Jones is already dashing toward the "J" aisle to find his box. Peter follows, shaking his head. He catches up with Mr. Jones just as he is slipping the red ribbon off his box and popping the lid. Looking inside, Jones has a moment of instant recognition, and he lets out a deep sigh like the ones Peter has heard so may times before. Because there in Mr. Jones's white box are all the blessings that God wanted to give to him while he was on earth... but Mr. Jones had never asked."

- Bruce Wilkinson, The Prayer of Jabez

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