Saturday, October 11, 2008

How Important Are Your Friends...?

When My roomies came in and jumped up into my arms for their nightly hug, I remembered this story that a friend sent me. I wanted to share it, although I'm sure many of you have seen it before.

A man and his dog were walking along a road. The man was enjoying the scenery, when it suddenly occurred to him that he was dead.

He remembered dying, and that the dog walking beside him had been dead for years. He wondered where the road was leading them.

After a while, they came to a high, white stone wall along one side of the road. It looked like fine marble. At the top of a long hill, it was broken by a tall arch that glowed in the sunlight.

When he was standing before it he saw a magnificent gate in the arch that looked like mother-of-pearl, and the street that led to the gate looked like pure gold. He and the dog walked toward the gate, and as he got closer, he saw a man at a desk to one side.

When he was close enough, he called out, 'Excuse me, where are we?'

'This is Heaven, sir,' the man answered.

'Wow! Would you happen to have some water?' the man asked.

Of course, sir. Come right in, and I'll have some ice water brought right up.' The man gestured, and the gate began to open.

'Can my friend,' gesturing toward his dog, 'come in, too?' the traveller asked. 'I'm sorry, sir, but we don't accept pets.'

The man thought a moment and then turned back toward the road and continued the way he had been going with his dog.

After another long walk, and at the top of another long hill, he came to a dirt road leading through a farm gate that looked as if it had never been closed. There was no fence.

As he approached the gate, he saw a man inside, leaning against a tree and reading a book. 'Excuse me!' he called to the man. 'Do you have any water?'

'Yeah, sure, there's a pump over there, come on in.' 'How about my friend here?' the traveller gestured to the dog. 'There should be a bowl by the pump.' was the answer.

They went through the gate, and sure enough, there was an old-fashioned hand pump with a bowl beside it. The traveller filled the water bowl and took a long drink himself, then he gave some to the dog.

When they were full, he and the dog walked back toward the man who was standing by the tree.

'What do you call this place?' the traveller asked. 'This is Heaven,' he answered. 'Well, that's confusing,' the traveller said. 'The man down the road said that was Heaven, too.'


'Oh, you mean the place with the gold street and pearly gates? Nope. That's hell.'

'Doesn't it make you mad for them to use your name like that?'

'No, we're just happy that they screen out the folks who would leave their best friends behind.'


The moral of the story? Simple...at least to me! My friends are more important to me than nearly anything. We have our differences, we often head in different directions, we sometimes see things in different ways, but one thing I know for sure.

When it comes to the important things, we would never leave our friends behind! After all, that's what friendship is really all about, right?

Now, let's go get some fresh coffee...OK?

7 comments:

meltcat said...

I had never read that one, Jim...that was really touching.
I think it's wonderful to have many and varied friends, you get to look at things from so many aspects. And if we all agreed on everything this would be such a boring ole place, huh?

Well, I've got to go make icing for a wedding cake. I've got my coffee in hand, but I'm not seeing my Saturday cartoon...

Have a good one, Friend Jim,
Cat

Lydia said...

Hi Jim,

It's always nice to read that story even if you had seen it before. You are so right, friends are so important in our journies.

Have a great day, hope all went well with your truck repair!

lydia

HermitJim said...

Hey Cat...thanks for stopping by. Friebds are indeed important for the feedback they help furnish...and the fact that they are just nive to have around.

Good luck with the wedding cake, my friend...

Hey Lydia...I appreciate you dropping by. Our journy is always made more pleasant with the company of friends.

Thanks for the good wishes on the truck...have a good day!

blondie said...

Well Jim,
I hadn't read that story before, so of course it brought tears to my eyes and got me all choked up... for a lot of different reasons, you know?
Thanks Friend :)

HermitJim said...

Hey Blondie...thanks for coming by. I'm glad you enjoyed the story and hope that all of us can see the importance of our friends over everything else.

I'm proud to have you as my friend...!

Ashley said...

That's the attitude I'm taking with my animal friends. I was at an apartment complex today asking about their policies. The desk lady wasn't sure, but he thought it might be 35 pounds. I exclaimed, "That's not even a real dog!" I went on to explain that keeping my dog out was a deal-breaker, which for some reason surprised the woman.

But that's how I roll.

HermitJim said...

Hey Ashley...thanks for deropping by. I'm glad you are keeping the dog in the equation. Even if you have to pay a little extra, our furry friends are too important to leave behind.

That's just my opinion and I'm sticking to it.