As I was skimming through Google Reader this morning, as I do most days – this caught my eye. I almost didn’t read it, but it’s one of those that made me stop and think. I’ve copied it below – read it and let me know what you think. It’s intriguing to me, but I don’t have any solid thoughts to share about it yet.
Once upon a time there was a boy who had four girlfriends.
He loved the 4th girlfriend the most and adorn her with rich robes and treated her to the finest of delicacies. He gave her nothing but the best.
He also loved the 3rd girlfriend very much and was always showing her off to neighboring kingdoms. However, he feared that one day she would leave him for another.
He also loved his 2nd girlfriend. She was his confidant and was always kind, considerate and patient with him. Whenever this boy faced a problem, he could confide in her, and she would help him get through the difficult times.
The boy’s 1st girlfriend was a very loyal partner and had made great contributions in maintaining his wealth and kingdom. However, he did not love the first girlfriend. Although she loved him deeply, he hardly took notice of her.
One day, the boy fell ill and he knew his time was short. He thought of his luxurious life and wondered, “I now have four girlfriends with me, but when I die, I’ll be all alone.”
Thus, he asked the 4th girlfriend, “I loved you the most, endowed you with the finest clothing and showered great care over you. Now that I’m dying, will you follow me and keep me company?”
‘No way!’, replied the 4th girlfriend, and she walked away without another word.
Her answer cut like a sharp knife right into his heart.
The sad boy then asked the 3rd girlfriend, “I loved you all my life. Now that I’m dying, will you follow me and keep me company?’
‘No!’, replied the 3rd girlfriend. ‘Life is too good! When you die, I’m going to marry someone else!’
His heart sank and turned cold.
He then asked the 2nd girlfriend, ‘I have always turned to you for help and you’ve always been there for me. When I die, will you follow me and keep me company?’
‘I’m sorry, I can’t help you out this time!’, replied the 2nd girlfriend. ‘At the very most, I can only walk with you to your grave.’
Her answer struck him like a bolt of lightning, and the boy was devastated.
Then a voice called out: ‘I’ll go with you. I’ll follow you no matter where you go.’ The boy looked up, and there was his first girlfriend. She was very skinny as she suffered from malnutrition and neglect.
Greatly grieved, the boy said, ‘I should have taken much better care of you when I had the chance!’
In truth, we each have 4 girlfriends in our lives:
Our 4th girlfriend is our body. No matter how much time and effort we lavish in making it look good, it will leave us when we die.
Our 3rd girlfriend is your possessions, status and wealth. When you die, it will all go to others.
Your 2nd girlfriend is our family and friends. No matter how much they have been there for us, the furthest they can stay by us is up to the grave.
And our 1st girlfriend is our Soul, often neglected in pursuit of wealth, power and pleasures of the world. However, our Soul is the only thing that will follow us where ever we go. Cultivate, strengthen and cherish it now, for it is the only part of you that will follow you to the throne of God and continue with you throughout Eternity.
“For we know that if the earthly tent which is our house is torn down, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For indeed in this house we groan, longing to be clothed with our dwelling from heaven; inasmuch as we, having put it on, shall not be found naked. For indeed while we are in this tent, we groan, being burdened, because we do not want to be unclothed, but to be clothed, in order that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life.” 2 Corinthians 5:1-4