CHRIST IN WINTER: Reflections on Faith from a Place of Winter for the Years of Winter… ©
I’m not sure I have this story quite right. Daughter Katie wasn’t sure she had it right when she told grandson Joe about it, either, but we’re close enough…
People in hell are hungry all the time. They sit across from one another at long tables. Before each one is a bowl of wonderful food, but their spoons are so long that they can’t get them into their mouths. All this wonderful food, with its enticing aromas and beauty, and they can’t get it into their mouths.
It’s the same setup in heaven, but there the people understand that each one can feed the person across the table with his/her own long spoon, so by feeding others, they are always full and happy.
Katie told this story to Joe, probably in an effort to persuade him to wash the spoons or some such, and he said: “Why don’t they forget the spoons and just pick up the bowls and eat directly out of them? I mean, it’s hell. Nobody is going to worry about table manners.”
Joe has hit upon an important part of the story. There is a work-around to get what you need, even in hell, but one of the hallmarks of hell is poor thinking. We are so blinded by greed and self-centeredness and our unwillingness to give up our possessions [spoons] that we can’t even see what is to our own advantage. “The road to hell is paved with good intentions,” to be sure, but it’s also paved with self-centered decisions.
We often wonder what career path Joe will take. He has so many talents and skills and abilities it will be hard to choose. It would seem, though, that inspirational speaking and culinary arts are out.
John Robert McFarland
The “place of winter” mentioned in the title line is Iron Mountain, in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula [The UP], where life is defined by winter even in the summer! [This phrase is explained in the post for March 20, 2014.]
I tweet as yooper1721.