Summary: This sermon is based on the realities of life and heaven, interacting with Mitch Albom’s book, "The Five People You Meet in Heaven".
(Please note, there are times when I refer to the book and quote it. Due to copywrite laws, I have just referred to the page number.)
Influence. When I say that word, what comes to mind?
Three lobbyists in Washington, D.C. were debating how to determine their degree of power with the White House. "I would know I was influential," began one, "if the president would ask me over for a private dinner."
"That would be impressive," replied the second. "However, I would know I had influence if the president would invite me to dinner, and while we were dining, his hotline rang and he didn’t get it. That would be the ultimate."
"Let me tell you the real measure of power," said the third lobbyist. "I would know I was powerful if the president invited me to dinner. Then, while talking over coffee, his hotline rang. The president answered and listened momentarily. I’d know I had real power if he then looked at me, and said, ’Here, it’s for you.’"
Every once and a while, something extremely influential comes out in society. A few weeks ago, a book which has the possibility to be that influential was release. It’s a book entitled, “The Five People You Meet in Heaven.” Written by Mitch Albom, who also wrote Tuesdays with Morrie, it tells the story of a maintenance man who worked on an amusement for most of his adult life, and what his experience is like when he first enters heaven. It debuted #1 on the New York Times best-seller list, including soft-cover books. Today, it sits at #4.
When I first heard about this book on the radio, I heard Mitch say that he wanted to do this book to encourage people. And I must say, it’s quite a nice touching story. Here’s another nice story.
REAL LIFE STORY FROM MICHIGAN, U.S.A.
A guy buys a brand new Grand Cherokee for 30 some thousand dollars and has $400 monthly payments. He immediately gets ahold of his friend and they go do some male bonding. They go duck hunting, and of course all the lakes are frozen.
SO these 2 guys go to the lake with the guns, the dog, the beer and of course the new vehicle. They drive out onto the lake ice and get ready. Now, they want to make some kind of a natural landing area for the ducks, something for the decoys to float on. Remember, it’s all ice and in order to make a hole large enough to look like something a wandering duck wants to fly down and land on, it is going to take a little more effort than a ice hole drill.
Out of the back of the new Grand Cherokee comes a stick of dynamite with a short, 40 second fuse.
Now these two guys DO take into consideration that if they place the stick of dynamite on the ice at a location far from where they are standing (and the new Grand Cherokee), they take the risk of slipping on the ice when they run from the burning fuse and possibly going up in smoke with the resulting blast. So, they decide to light this 40 second fuse and throw the dynamite, which is what they end up doing.
You guessed it, the dog takes off at a high rate of doggy speed on the ice and gets the stick of dynamite with the burning 40 second fuse about the time it hits the ice, all to the dismay of the 2 idiots yelling, stomping, waving arms and wondering what the hell to do now.
The dog, doing his job, heads back from where it came from moments before, with the stick of dynamite, the 2 bozos are now really going ballistic - waving their arms, yelling even louder and jumping to new heights - all of which seems to encourage the dog.
Now one of the guys grabs a shotgun and shoots the dog. The shotgun is loaded with #8 shot, hardly enough to stop a Black Lab on its appointed rounds. Dog stops for a moment, slightly confused and continues on. Another shot, and this time the dog, still standing, becomes really confused & of course scared, thinking these 2 guys have gone insane, Rover takes off to find cover, with the now really short short fuse burning on this stick of dynamite.
The cover the dogs finds? Underneath the brand new vehicle sitting on the lake ice. Our brave hunters drop their shotguns and run like crazy.
The dog dies. It and the brand new Grand Cherokee, sink to the bottom of the lake, taking with it all their gear, the discarded shotguns, and the beer, leaving the 2 guys with a long walk home.