Bishop Peter Storey from South Africa tells a story of three men in town for a convention. They were assigned rooms on the 51st floor of the convention hotel. They had been out for an evening, having had a late dinner and entertainment. When they came in, the elevator was out of order. Can you imagine that? In a room on the 51st floor and no way to get there but to climb the stairs.
It was a terrible dilemma, but they had no alternative. Being creative, they decided that they would devise a way to make that climb bearable. For 17 stories, as they climbed the stairs, they would tell funny stories. Then, for the next 17 stories, they would tell scary stories. Then, for the final 17 stories, they would tell sad stories.
Well, it did work. For 17 stories, they laughed and laughed as they told funny story after funny story, taking their minds off of their arduous climb. Then, for the next 17 stories, there were the scary tales and that helped because it seemed to energize them. Then as they began the last trek up the steps of the last 17 stories, they began to tell sad story after sad story. When they got to the 50th floor, they had run out of stories seemingly. No one spoke up. Then it happened. One fellow broke the silence, "Fellows, here is the saddest story of all. I forgot the key at the reception desk."
The key, whether a door is being opened or a door is being closed, the key is that we stay awake. Because we never know when we are going to be surprised by a new possibility, nor do we ever know when something important is going to be taken from us.
I pray you have a blessed week and that you are able to laugh all seven days (if not for 17 floors).
Pastor James "Skip" French is the pastor of Highland Christian Church, 1500 Forest Hills Blvd., Bella Vista. Opinions expressed are those of the author.