Saturday, 13 September 2014
He is surprised to be lead into a well-furnished room where St Peter is sitting at a large desk in front of a computer.
St Peter invites him to sit down and taps his details into the computer.
“I’m surprised to see a computer here,” says the man hesitantly, trying to make polite conversation, “I thought you’d have a big book with parchment paper and all our names written there.”
“Oh … that’s a common misconception,” replies St Peter, “we replaced the big books years ago. They were a bit unwieldy and heavy; and they were a bit slow to use. You know what it’s like … searching pages after pages for someone’s name!”
“Yes …” says the man nervously, “computers are much faster.”
“They sure are,” smiles St Peter clicking away on the keyboard, “a few key strokes here and there and we have all the information we need on view … the whole of one’s life is here for me to read.”
“Does the computer ever go wrong?” asks the man, sweating a little with concern about his prospects of entry, “I know they often went wrong on earth …”
“Oh yes …” replies the Saint chuckling quietly, “computers are computers whether on earth or here in Heaven. It’s just a machine … and all machines go wrong now and then. Not like a book … what is written there remains there … unless it is altered or the page is torn away … which is obvious to the eye. You can easily see an alteration in a book.
“But computers sometimes freeze up … or play up every now and then and you can’t move forward to the next screen.
“Thumping the computer on the side with an old fish I caught recently doesn’t always work. I find that Control Alt and Delete does the trick but only sometimes. Either that, or I just switch it off and on again … ha ha ha … that sorts it all right! Don't try hitting the computer with something hard like a tin of sardines though. It really hurts if you get your fingers caught!” The Saint chuckled uncontrollably.
A few moments later St Peter stops chuckling to himself for a while and starts scratching his long white beard before deciding what to input next on his computer.
“But … but … what if the database is wrong? An input error somewhere in the system?” splutters the man in a panic, “you could send a poor soul in the wrong place by mistake!”
“No one goes to hell by mistake … that never happens,” said the Saint confidently, “we have a fail safe system for that.
“God is supervising every transaction in another room. He has a monitor on His desk and He automatically checks every decision I make here on my computer. He is good that way … and He NEVER makes mistakes !!!
"The other day I had a guy here who had been a good man all his life. Never broke the law, was faithful to his wife, loved his children, worked hard … that sort of thing … he even went to church now and then.
“But he’d only done one good thing in his entire life … he once gave ten cents to a beggar in the street.
“I didn’t know what to decide; so I emailed God. A few seconds later He replied:
“ ‘Give him his ten cents back and tell him to go to hell!’
"You see ... God is very wise. No one goes to hell by mistake. He doesn't send anyone to hell really. It is people with their own actions who send themselves to hell."
Moral of the story:
"Not everyone who calls me 'Lord, Lord' will enter the Kingdom of Heaven, but only those who do what my Father in Heaven wants them to do." Matthew 7:21