A man came to a gate and putting down his bag, he rang the doorbell on the wall. The gate opened and an old man stepped outside.
“Yes?” He asked.
“I’m here.” The traveler pulled out a piece of paper with an address and showed it to the gatekeeper. “I’ve arrived.”
“Indeed.” The gatekeeper didn’t look at the paper but stared at the man with curious eyes. “It isn’t easy to find this gate. It must have been a very long journey for you. Most people arrive here empty-handed. Pray tell, how did you make it here with what looks like a heavy load?”
The traveler looked down and felt proud. Yes, it had been a very difficult journey. There were many dark nights and brutal days and he didn’t think he’d make it. And to think that not many arrived with luggage? Well–he was proud. “It wasn’t easy, I’ll tell you that much.” He said, nodding his head.
“No, it couldn’t have been. Wasn’t your load heavy? Did you have to stop many times to rest?” The gatekeeper seemed fascinated as he poked the bundle.
“Hey!” The traveler moved the gatekeeper’s hands away. He felt overprotective. Especially when he thought about how hard it was to climb mountains with luggage on his back. Or the times he’d crossed rivers and the bag soaked through and threatened to drown him. Not to mention the many animals along the way that jumped at the bag and tried to steal its wares. This bag had nearly cost him his life many times, and it now appeared very precious in his sight.
“Okay, traveler. Unload your goods, let’s see what you’ve got. And please note the size of this gate. You’ll have to take only one item with you.”
The traveler took out the many things in his bag and each time he looked at the gate, it seemed to shrink. Sweating, he looked at the gatekeeper. “How can I choose? They all belong to me!”
“Yes, indeed. But you can only bring in one item. Or you must give up your space.”
The traveler was disturbed. He stood at the gate for many hours looking at all the things he’d brought with him, what he’d gone through to even come with them…it was too much. Finally, he looked up at the gatekeeper and begged with the tears in his eyes for help.
The gatekeeper smiled at him. “I suggest you choose the item Forgiveness which is the heavy bag you carry. It will cover all you’ve brought with you.”
He pointed to the rest of the items:
“You don’t need Dreams; you experienced them on your way. Those that never came true are gone.
You can let go of Fear because you conquered them on the road.
Family and Friends you’ve Loved.
Mistakes have no place here.
Disappointments, Hurt and Worry burned holes into your bag, and
Evil has tarnished the gold cup of Sacrifice, Good and Faith you managed to pack.
I suggest you let Forgiveness cover your load.
Forgive yourself, and forgive others, and come inside.”