A man is driving down the road and breaks down near a monastery. He goes to the monastery, knocks on the door, and says, My car broke down. Do you think I could stay the night? The monks graciously accept him, feed him dinner, even fix his car. As the man tries to fall asleep, he hears a very strange sound. The next morning, he asks the monks what the sound was, but they say, We can't tell you. You're not a monk.
The man is disappointed but thanks them anyway and goes about his merry way. Some years later, The same man breaks down in front of the same monastery. The monks again accept him, feed him, and again fix his car. That night, he hears the same strange noise that he had heard years earlier. The next morning, he asks what it is, but the monks reply, We can't tell you. You're not a monk.
The man says, All right, all right. I'm dying to know.
If the only way I can find out what that sound was is to become a monk, how do I become a monk?
The monks reply, You must travel the earth and tell us how many blades of grass there are and the exact number of sand pebbles, when you find these numbers, you will become a monk. The man sets about his task. Some 54 years later, he returns and knocks on the door of the monastery.
He says, I have traveled the earth and have found what you have asked for. There are 145,236,284,232 blades of grass and 231,281,219,999,129,382 sand pebbles on the earth.
The monks reply, Congratulations. You are now a monk. We shall now show you the way to the sound.
The monks lead the man to a wooden door where the head monk says, The sound is right behind that door. The man reaches for the knob, but the door is locked.
He says, Real funny. May I have the key? The monks give him the key, and he opens the door. Behind the wooden door is another door made of stone.
The man demands the key to the stone door. The monks give him the key, and he opens it, only to find a door made of ruby. He demands another key from the monks, who provide it. Behind that door is another door, this one made of sapphire, And so it went until the man had gone through doors of emerald, silver, topaz, and amethyst.
Finally, the monks say, This is the last key to the last door. The man is relieved to know that he has finally reached to the end. He unlocks the door, turns the knob, and behind that door he is amazed to find the source of that strange sound.
But he can't tell you what it is because you're not a monk.
There was a man who worked for the Post Office whose job was to process all the mail that had illegible addresses.
One day, a letter came addressed in a shaky handwriting to God with no address.
He thought he should open it to see what it was about.
The letter read: "Dear God, I am an 83-year-old widow, living on a very small pension. Yesterday someone stole my purse. It had $100 in it, which was all the money I had until my next pension check. Next Sunday is Christmas, and I had invited two of my friends over for dinner. Without that money, I have nothing to buy food with. I have no family to turn to, and you are my only hope. Can you please help me? Sincerely, Edna"
The postal worker was touched.
He showed the letter to all the other workers.
Each one dug into his or her wallet and came up with a few dollars.
By the time he made the rounds, he had collected $96, which they put into an envelope and sent to the woman.
The rest of the day, all the workers felt a warm glow thinking of Edna and the dinner she would be able to share with her friends.
Christmas came and went.
A few days later, another letter came from the same old lady to God.
All the workers gathered around while the letter was opened.
It read: "Dear God, How can I ever thank you enough for what you did for me? Because of your gift of love, I was able to fix a glorious dinner for my friends. We had a very nice day and I told my friends of your wonderful gift.
"By the way, there was $4 missing. I think it must have been those bastards at the Post Office!"