The Counters

As the littlest angel watched over earth, she was amazed at how busy everyone was.
“I wonder what keeps them so busy”, she thought to herself.
Then the head angel came to her and said, “It’s your turn to go to earth”
The littlest angel jumped with joy as she was given the date that she would arrive.
She was so excited that she started counting the days until her arrival.
Later, the head angel checked in on her to see how arrangements were going.
She proudly told him she was counting the days.
“Counting the days?” He asked. “Are you sure that is wise?”
“It must be” She remarked. “I have been watching earth and I have noticed that everyone does it.”
“I see,” said the head angel. “Perhaps we need to take a closer look at things.”
So the littlest angel and the head angel made a trip to earth.
First the head angel pointed out some little boys counting marbles.
One little boy remarked that he was surely the best marble player in all the world – after all he had just won 121 marbles and had not lost a single one.
The littlest angel was very impressed because she could not yet count that high.
Then the head angel showed the littlest angel the same little boy as a young man.
He no longer played marbles. Instead, he was counting his money.
“I am amazing,” he said to himself. “Look at all the money I make. Surely the world will soon take note of me and see how important I am because of all the money I make.”
Next, the head angel showed the littlest angel a young woman.
She was counting how many boys had asked her out on a date.
“Surely I am important because of my beauty,” she said to herself “Look at how many boys want to date me”
On they moved on to some brothers and sisters who belonged to the same family.
One of the girls was heard saying “I have had it. Billy always gets what he wants. I always have to wash the dishes and all he has to do is dust. I counted it up just the other day. Billy has gotten to dust the last three times. I have had to wash dishes five times in a row.”
Then, they moved from the family to a man saying his prayers.
“Please God” he asked “I have worked for the company for 25 years. Bob Johnson has worked for the company only 21 years. Surely I deserve the promotion more than he does.”
On they moved to a young married couple who were having an argument.
“I don’t see what the big deal is,” said the young man. “I spend over forty hours a week at work earning money to pay the bills. Why do you have to make such a big deal of it if I forget my socks on the floor once or twice?”
“Once or twice?” Screamed the young woman. “I’ll have you know that I have picked up your socks from off of the floor at least ten times in the last two weeks. That’s 10 times in 14 days. Once or twice is a forgivable offense. 10 times in 14 days means you think that I am your personal slave.”
The littlest angel turned to the head angel “Am I going to have to learn to count like this? She asked.
The head angel said “That will be up to you”
“But I don’t understand” said the littlest angel. “Counting seems to be such an important part of earth life.”
“Counting cannot be all that bad” she said. “Even Heavenly Father counts”
He told me that he knows how many hairs are on the head of each of his children. He knows when a bird loses a feather. I know that He even knows exactly how many children He has.
“Seems like some pretty impressive counting to me,” Said the littlest angel.
“Impressive it is” said the head angel. “Let’s look in on another home.”
They observed the mother of several small children for several days.
“Wow” said the littlest angel “I have been counting and that mother has a lot of things to keep track of. I could barely keep up myself with how many times she changed diapers, fed her children, washed loads of laundry and washed up scraped knees. How does she keep track of all of the counting?’
“She doesn’t” said the head angel.
“Why not?” asked the littlest angel
“She does what she does out of love” said the head angel
“That doesn’t make sense” said the littlest angel “How is she going to know if she is the most important, the most beautiful, the richest, the hardest worker, or even the most powerful?
“She won’t” said the head angel “But it won’t matter to her. She will feel rewarded if her children grow up to be kind, loving adults like she is.”
“Are you kidding me?” asked the littlest angel
“No” said the head angel
“Let’s move on to one more life,” said the head angel
The next life that they saw was that of the Savior.
“Look,” said the littlest angel “He just fed five thousand”
“See, even he counted” said the littlest angel
“He only counted the fish and loaves of bread that he had to divide,” said the head angel. His helpers counted how many were fed.
The littlest angel noted as she observed the life of the Savior how many times he forgave others, how many times he fed others, how many times he taught people to think of their fellow man instead of themselves.
Then she and the head angel watched as the Savior achieved his crowning act in mortality – his death and resurrection.
The littlest angel watched in humble adoration.
She knew that what the Savior had done he had done for every single one of Heavenly Father’s children.
“Oh head angel,” she said, “I think I get it”
“What do you get?” asked the head angel
“The Savior is our example and he is not a counter is he?” said the littlest angel
“No he is not,” Said the head angel
“He wants us to do everything that we do because of love – not because of the reward that we might receive. Kind of like that mom that we watched. She didn’t care how many times she had to do things for her family. She didn’t care because she loved them so much.” Gushed the littlest angel
“So if I am going to be like my Savior, I need to work real hard at not counting.” said the littlest angel.
“That’s right,” said the head angel
“We better return to heaven – I think you will be leaving for your turn on earth very soon” said the head angel.
“That’s okay,” said the littlest angel “but I am not counting the days any more – just let me know when it is my time to go.”

By JoAnna Oblander – Author of A Glimpse of Heaven


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