Welcoming Those Who Influence Our Lives
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PRESENTS, PEOPLE, AND ONE MORE LIST
An Unfinished Guest List
THERE'S A STORY that goes something like this:
A woman arrived at the gates of heaven to be met by St. Peter.
"You may first want to join the others at the throne," he said to her, "and then greet those you loved on earth. But when you are ready, I'll take you on a tour of heaven."
When the time came for her tour, she could hardly take it all in. It reminded her a little of her earthly home, but she could see that earth had only been a pale shadow of what she was seeing now. They explored every nook and cranny of heaven—waterfalls, fields of flowers, exquisite buildings, and streets of gold.
As the tour drew to an end, she noticed one massive door they had not yet explored. A gold padlock secured it. "What's in that room?" she asked.
"You don't want to see that room," St. Peter said, steering her away from it. "It's only a storeroom."
"But I do. May I see inside? I want to see every bit of heaven."
St. Peter didn't answer. Instead he took a large key out of his pocket, put it in the lock, and turned it. The tumblers clicked and the padlock opened. He took the lock off and opened the door. The woman had to blink several times to take it all in. Inside the cavernous room were stacks and stacks of gifts, wrapped in all the colors of the rainbow and tied with all the colors of heaven.
She clapped her hands with delight. "Is this where you store presents for everyone in heaven?"
"No. These gifts are not for heaven, they were meant for earth."
"What do you mean 'were'?" She walked through the stacks and came to a pile marked with her name. "Look, these gifts are for me." She fingered the paper and ribbons. "May I open them?"
"No. You don't need them now." St. Peter put a hand on her shoulder, guiding her toward the door.
"But if I don't need them now, does that mean I needed them on earth?" She couldn't take her eyes off the pile. To think she would never get to enjoy all those beautifully wrapped gifts.
He nodded his head. "Yes, you needed them on earth."
She looked around the room, realizing that there must have been millions of gifts. Maybe more, since she couldn't see an end to the room. "Why weren't my gifts sent to me on earth?" As she looked closer, she could read names on all the gifts. "Not just my gifts; why haven't any of these gifts been sent?"
St. Peter sighed. "You don't understand. Every one of them was sent." Moving his arm in an arc that encompassed the whole room, he said, "All of these and more. These are the ones that were returned unopened." He moved her toward the door. "Many people on earth don't recognize God's gifts and fail to open them."
I love gifts—both giving and receiving. When I first heard this story, I wondered if there was any truth to the parable. Had God sent gifts to me that I hadn't opened?
From GOD’S GUEST LIST by Debbie Macomber
Copyright © 2010 Debbie Macomber
Who is on God’s “guest list” in your life…and why? Through touching true stories, Debbie Macomber helps us discover the influence others have on us and the power we have to influence those whose paths cross ours.
In some people God invites into our lives, we see only pain. In other instances, God has blessed us with people at just the right time to teach or love us, but perhaps we haven’t recognized God’s timing and work through these “guests.” Here, Debbie reveals how those experiences prompted choices about how we would change and who we would become.
But the greatest treasure God’s Guest List holds is the power to grasp our own power to influence others. It will forever change how you see the people in your life.
Hardcover Book : 208 pages
Publisher: Simon & Schuster ( November 02, 2010 )
Item #: 13-170816
Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 8.25 x 0.437inches
Product Weight: 11.0 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
This was the third Debbie Macomber book I've read and really enjoyed it. I liked the fact that it was about her life and ours. It gives you a lot to think about.
Reviewer: Mary B
I just Love Debbie's books. They are so down to earth and very readible.
Reviewer: Janet W
I have to admit that I have not read many of Debbie Macomber's books but I am so very well pleased with this one. There were many stories that landed close to my own experiences and then there were the ones that I can use as pieces of wisdom. Thank you Debbie for such a great book.
Reviewer: Marsha P
I love Debbie Macomber's books, but this one is really written from the heart. I appreciate her as an author even more. This is a must read.
Reviewer: Liz M