WHAT WILL MAKE YOU HAPPY?
An angel was sent from heaven with express instructions to meet two men and two women walking on the road. The travellers had passed through high and low points in their lives and continued in deep discussion, and not a little confusion along the way. The angel met them at a place they would later call the turning point. He appeared in one of those bright streaks of lightning that normally cross the sky.
After the initial shock of the sudden meeting, the travellers were very happy to find out that their guest was an angel. They were very happy to receive such a glorious visitor from heaven whom, they were sure, had a good word for them. But unlike all good visitors who bring news, he refused to announce his views. Instead, he had a question for each one of them. He enquired with great humility what he might do for them.
The first was quick to recognize this most unique opportunity and said without hesitation, "I want to be rich". There was silence as all four studied the visitor's response. The angel's eyes fell to the ground for just a moment as he said without emotion, "Your wish is my command". There was a cheer and astonishment all round that anyone could be granted such a wish.
The second, made bold by what had happened to the first, came forward and said, "Sir, if you are truly from heaven then make me a ruler, make me a king!". The angel looked at his hands, stretched them towards the second, and said, "Your wish is my command". The third could not contain his excitement and blurted out " make me, make me forever young! Let me never grow old". The angel looked and smiled as he said, "your wish is my command".
The fourth was utterly speechless and admitted never to have thought of a response to such a request. The three could not wait to begin the journey to enjoy their new destiny and were surprised that the fourth had hesitated for so long. They said to their friend in anxious tones, "dear friend you are holding us back. Make your request so that we can send the angel back to heaven. The fourth said forgive me but I don't know what to think or ask. Perhaps if you shared with me why you asked for what you did , I might find a clue of what to ask too.
The first said, "The reason I asked for all the money in the world is because, when I have it, I can buy anything I want, need or imagine. I could buy everything and be the happiest person on earth. The second said, "When I am ruler, I can go anywhere I want without restriction. I would get anything at my command and everything would be at my service. I would know everything that is going on and everyone would need my permission to do anything. I can't wait to exercise my power. I would not only be rich and powerful, but I would also be the happiest person in the world. The fourth then listened to the third who said, "I want none of the responsibility of growing up. If I remain young, I will never grow old or have to be responsible for any thing I do. My parents will continue to take care of everything and I will have nothing to worry about. I will always be forgiven and everyone will love me because I am only a child and that will make me the happiest person in the whole world".
The fourth was silent for a moment and then asked the others are you sure I can have everything and anything I want? Yes! They said in chorus. Then the fourth turned to the angel and said, "sir this is my request, I ask for anything and everything you have for me, only give me the grace to bear it. The angel beamed, lifted his arms toward heaven, proclaimed the AMEN and vanished in a thunderclap of a thousand halleluiahs!
Original article- 2007