The story of you – and Mr. J.


This is a true story.
I’m not aware that it’s ever happened exactly this way, 
but I’d be shocked if it didn’t.

 

In any case, even though I don’t know you,
statistically speaking – this will probably happen to you.
In some fashion.

 


Act 1

It’s Friday night.  You’re exhausted after a really long week at work. You fall asleep as soon as your head hits the pillow.  You can’t wait for the weekend.  It’s going to be awesome!

You’re dreaming.  Although, by the time the weekend is over, you’ll come to realize this is the worst nightmare you’ll ever have in your life.

You’re in a room.  Your three best friends are there as well.  You think, “This must be coincidence.  After all, we’re all going to the big football game this weekend.  That’s why they’re in this dream.”

Back to the room.  You’ve never been here before.  But somehow, you know where you are.  It’s at work.  A waiting room in HR (Human Resources).  All four of you are waiting to go in for a job interview.  There’s this big promotion available, and you’re all being considered for it.

This makes no sense.  None of you have ever shown any interest in moving up the corporate ladder.  At least you know you haven’t.  Maybe your buddies have been hiding something from you – but you really doubt it.  Outside of initials. none of you even knows the names of the three guys at the top of the company.  It’s a huge corporation.  Millions of employees.  World-wide.  You’re pretty sure that if man ever gets to another planet – these guys will be there first, ready to expand.  But all you know is Mr F.,  Mr J. and Mr S.  Beyond that – nothing.  You and your buddies – you blame everything that’s wrong with the company on these three guys at the top.  Especially Mr J.  You’ve never met them.  Don’t even know anyone who has met them.  It’s all rumor and innuendo.  You really know nothing.  But that doesn’t stop any of you from getting so mad – when you do use their names (at least the names you know them by) you end up using them as swear words.  So no – you’re pretty much positive that none of you were interested in this opening.  And yet, here you all are.

There are four chairs in the room – one for each of you.  There are two doors – the one you entered through, and one that leads to the interview room.  Nothing personal is in the room.  Not even anything remotely related to the corporation is there.  

A voice comes through the speakers in the ceiling – telling one of your friends to go in for his interview.  He’s only there for a couple minutes, when the door opens.  He does’t look at anyone as he crosses the waiting room.  He’s just shaking his head and looking at the floor.

Shortly after that, another of your friends is called in.  Unlike the first time, now you can hearing shouting in the other room.  Your buddy is yelling, “I wouldn’t want the job even if you offered it to me!”  Then he storms out of the office, slamming the door as he leaves.  He crosses the room, muttering to himself, and slams the outer door as he leaves the waiting room.  You thought you could see a tear in his eye.  But that wouldn’t make sense.  You must be wrong.

You’re now in the waiting room alone, since your third friend was called in immediately after the door slamming incident.  You can hear him through the walls too.  He keeps asking, no – make that begging, for another chance.  Apparently, he doesn’t get that chance.  He comes out of the room.  Crying.  Like the others, he doesn’t look at you either.  He just leaves the waiting room.  Leaving you alone.

You’re called in.  You open the door.  And your heart sinks.  You know you’re not going to get the job either.  You’ve never seen the man sitting behind the desk,  But you know who he is.  It’s Mr J.  You know you’re not going to get the job, so you turn to leave – but he says, “Wait.  Please have a seat.”  You think that maybe it’s going to be OK.  But then he says, “You know why you’re not going to get this job, don’t you?”.  You tell him that yes, you do know.  Then he says, “you can go now.  When you leave the waiting room, turn left, and go into the door at the end of the hallway.  They’re expecting you.”

Then you wake up.

It was so weird.  You can’t imagine what it means.  Must be from something you ate – that’s what you figure.  But in any case, there’s no way you’re going to talk about this to anyone.


Act 2

It’s Sunday morning!  Your local NFL team is playing their arch-rival today, at home.  Plus, it’s the nationally televised evening game!  All the crazy fans are going to be there, including you and your three buddies.  You know – the ones from the dream.

Your wife asks you to go to church with her.  You tell her, “Maybe next week.  Today’s the big game.  It’s going to be packed, and we need to get a great space for the pre-game tailgate party.”   True – the game doesn’t start until six PM.  But you tell her you’ve got to leave before 10, and she won’t be back from church in time for you to go along.  Had you mentioned that yesterday, she certainly would have been willing to go to the early service.  But you want her to be able to sleep in, since she got called in to work late yesterday.  At least, that’s what you tell yourself.

So you get ready.  Quickly.  Because you don’t dare still be at home when she gets back.  You rush over to the home of the friend who’ll be driving – because he has the same “issues”.  As do the other two guys.  You’re all gone, and on your way by 9:45.  The wives will all come back from church and the husbands will be gone.

You’ve started so early that you get to the stadium before 10:30.  The gates to the parking lot don’t even open until noon.  Why should they – the game doesn’t start ’til six!  Still – there are maybe a dozen cars ahead of you.  You all get out and go join the pre-tailgate tailgate party going on.  Turns out every one of you had the same “wife” problem – wanting the guys to go to church.  And you all came up with the same solution.  Great minds!  And, of course, great minds brought along plenty of beer, because you knew this would happen.  In fact, it’s so early that even the designated driver can enjoy a few cans.  It’s going to be more than 11 hours before you start back home again.

The drinking, eating, and the drinking are going on full blast now.  Did I mention – you all were drinking?  Turns out the other guys you just met must work at the same company as you.  No one actually asks, or say anything about it.  But the “J” cuss word get thrown out there by someone.  And then the others pick up on it.  Try out different variations of it.  That seems to make a good time even better.

You’re all felling pretty “happy” by the time the gates open.  You and all your new “friends” go in together and get the best tailgate spot.  The bbq’s come out – the food starts grilling – the beer keeps flowing.  Your designated driver still has a long time before he’s called on to drive – so he keeps chugging them down.  Beers, that is.

By the time the food’s gone, there’s only a handful of beer cans left.  You need to save four of them – for the post game victory celebration.  Yeah – there’s one for the designated driver.  He’ll certainly be sober by then – so one for the road won’t be a problem.

Now that the beer’s gone, it’s time to move inside.  You say good bye to your new buddies – and all head in to enjoy the game. And the beer.

Someone asks if you should go to the seats first, or get some food.  You, of course, have a better idea.  “Let’s get some brewskies first”,  Everyone agrees.  Since you can only get two at a time, it’s best to get “started” as early as possible.  There’s still more than an hour before kick-off – so polishing off a couple rounds and having two more ready and waiting for the opening kick sounds like a great idea.

The moment comes.  You’re all feeling “happy”.  

Your team is going to receive the kick.  The ball is in the air.   It’s a touch back – your team will start their first drive at the twenty.  

The quarterback steps back – waits – waits – launches a long bomb – it’s intercepted, and run back for a touchdown.  

Mr J.’s name is coming out early today.  This is not how you wanted to start.

Not even a minute into the game and you’re down 7-0.

The kickoff is in the air.  Your guy’s is ready to receive the ball and start running.  But he starts running without the ball!  The other team recovers and takes it in for another touchdown.  

14-0.  Still less than a minute gone in the game.  You know you’re going to need more beers.  And every other word that come out of your mouth has something to do with Mr J.

The final score – 63-2!  You’ve lost count of how many beers you’ve had.  You don’t know why you actually stayed until the end.  But you did.  And you drank.  And you kept shouting Mr J.’s name.

The stadium is practically empty.  The only good news is that there won’t be much traffic on the way home.

When you get to the car, there’s no victory celebration.  But the four beers are still there.  

It’s time to drown your sorrows.  Open up the cans.  Curse Mr J. some more.  And then be on your way.  Home.


Off-stage Interlude

As expected, there wasn’t hardly any traffic.  You figure if you get back fast enough, you can stop by a bar and commiserate with some of the guys who might still be there.  So your designated driver – he drives fast. Too fast.  All of a sudden there’s this horrible noise of crunching metal and breaking glass.  And screaming.  Lots of screaming. And then darkness.  And silence.


Act 3

When you wake up –

You’re in a room.  Your three best friends are there as well.  You think, “this must be coincidence.  After all, we’ve all just gone to the big football game. That’s why they’re here now.”

Back to the room.  You’ve never been here before.  But somehow, you know where you are.  It’s a waiting room.  

There are four chairs in the room – one for each of you.  There are two doors – the one you entered through, and one that leads to the interview room.  Nothing personal is in the room.  Not even anything to identify what this room is for.  And yet, something tells you that you know this place.  That you know who’s here.  But you can’t quite get your mind around it.

A voice comes through the speakers in the ceiling – telling one of your friends to go in.  He’s only there for a couple minutes, when the door opens.  He does’t look at anyone as he crosses the waiting room.  He’s just shaking his head and looking at the floor.

Shortly after that, another of your friends is called in.  Unlike the first time, now you can hearing shouting in the other room.  Your buddy is yelling, “I wouldn’t stay here even if you wanted me!”  Then he storms out of the office, slamming the door as he leaves.  He crosses the room, muttering to himself, and slams the outer door as he leaves the waiting room.  You thought you could see a tear in his eye.  But that wouldn’t make sense.  You must be wrong.

You’re now in the waiting room alone, since your third friend was called in immediately after the door slamming incident.  You can hear him through the walls too.  He keeps asking, no – make that begging, for another chance.  Apparently, he doesn’t get that chance.  He comes out of the room.  Crying.  Like the others, he doesn’t look at you either.  He just leaves the waiting room.  Leaving you alone.

You’re called in.  You open the door.  And your heart sinks.  You know you’re going to be joining your buddies.  You’ve never seen the man sitting behind the desk,  But you know who he is.  It’s Mr J.  You know you’re not going to get be here either.  You turn to leave – but he says, “Wait.  Please have a seat.”  You think that maybe it’s going to be OK.  But then he says, “You know why you’re not going to get to stay here, don’t you?”.  You tell him that yes, you do know.  Then he says, “you can go now.  When you leave the waiting room, turn left, and go into the door at the end of the hallway.  They’re expecting you.”


Epilogue

  • That this story is written with the assumption that “you” is a man – that’s just statistics at work.  As you’ll soon see, if you haven’t already figured it out – probability says that the male scenario I’ve used is the most common.  It’s also possible that the story is told with “you” as a woman.  Doesn’t have to be husband and wife either.  Just two people who are close to each other and have the kind of relationship we see in the story.
  • The first Mr J. – maybe that’s a different person for you.  It could be pretty much anyone.  Not necessarily even your boss.  Just someone that bugs the heck out of you.  Mr F, and Mr S. – they’re just needed for symmetry.  They don’t even have to be real people.  Is it coincidence that the initials of the “three guys” in each scene are the same?  Yes.  And No.  I say that because it’s possible that in your version of the story – and this is your story – could be the same people across all three scenes.  Maybe not.  But in your mind – if they are different people, you’ve likely linked them so closely that it’s hard to tell the difference.  And, as I said – this is your story, so it’s important that I construct it in a way that you can make sense of.
  • The football game scenario – it’s just a fairly typical one.  It could be another sport.  Or a hobby.  Or even work.  It could even about about someone who wants to do absolutely nothing.  It really doesn’t matter.
  • The beer – it just goes along with the football thing.  It could be hard liquor.  Could be drugs.  Could be anything that takes you mind off anything other than whatever that thing is that you really want to do.

As you can see – there are lots of variables here.

You know yourself.  At least, if your honest with yourself – you do.  So pick your poison – I mean your “things”.  For each of the choices – pick yours and put yourself into the story.  It is, after all – your story.

There are however – some things that cannot change. By now – surely you’ve noticed what – or more properly who – those things are.
They come in Act 3.
They are Mr F. , Mr J. and Mr S.

Do you know who they are?

Have you figured it out yet?

They are –

Mr F. – God, The Father

Mr J. – Jesus – The Son of God

Mr S. – The Holy Spirit

Conclusion

Something like Act 1 has probably already happened to you.  Unless, maybe, you’re too young to have had that experience yet.  But even there – it’s something to learn from.

Something like Act 2 may or may not have happened to you yet.  The further along you are in an Act 2 scenario – the more this probably touches you, and hopefully scares you half to death.

You may have even reached the off-stage interlude.  Unlike our characters – you’ve obviously lived through the crash.  All the more reason to be scared, if you aren’t already.

Obviously, you have not reached Act 3.

The good news is that, short of Act 3, assuming of course that you live through the interlude, you do still have time to learn something about the real Mr F., Mr J. and Mr S.
You have a chance to learn before it’s too late.

Because if you don’t learn – there is one more thing that won’t change from this story.

You may have noticed that I still haven’t identified what’s on the other side of the door you will enter at the end of the hallway, after you turn left.
I also never mentioned the door on Mr J.’s right – the one inside the room, had you been invited to stay.

Here’s a clue –

The Sheep and the Goats

Mt 25:31 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his throne in heavenly glory. 32 All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.
Mt 25:34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
Mt 25:37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
Mt 25:40 “The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.’
Mt 25:41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’
Mt 25:44 “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’
Mt 25:45 “He will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’
Mt 25:46 “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”

Well.  OK.  That’s more than a clue.

That is the end of the story.  

Your Story.

 

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