Is this some kind of bad joke?
Donald Trump, Barry Bonds, Bill Clinton, Vladimir Putin, Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, and Brad Pitt are sitting at an executive table.
Needing a chair, they are discussing greatness and which of them is greatest, positioning themselves, outdoing one another in their self-descriptions – except for Brad Pitt, who doesn’t care.
Each of them hides a secret envy of the others because, in spite of all their accomplishments, they have to admit the others have done things they could never have done.
Before settling the seating issue, another person enters; a consultant. This man, they’ve been told, will take you to the next level. In fact, if you follow his advice, he’ll make you think everything you’ve achieved to date has been a joke. So they agreed to meet with him this afternoon.
Then he enters. He’s dressed modestly, nothing ostentatious – nothing noteworthy either way. He looks like someone who works with his hands, so they all feel a little uncomfortable. They don’t know why because they don’t realize how little regard they have for such work – except, of course, Barry Bonds.
In fact, some of them are a little worried (though they don’t know why because they would never let this idea reach their conscious minds) that this man might ask them to do some physically demanding work that won’t obviously fit under the heading “exercise” or “self-development.”
He enters silently, looks each in the eye, and approaches the table, where he takes the seat farthest from the head – opposite the one over which they had been bickering.
He sits silently, assuming nothing, asserting nothing. He waits.
When the rest see that He is not speaking, they revert to their argument and after a while it is determined that Bill Gates should occupy the chair because he has the most money and therefore can fund any decisions they make.
The consultant is still in His seat, observing silently. Waiting patiently.
At last, the new chair, Mr. Gates, addresses the consultant, concerning whom the whole group has already formed a decidedly negative opinion . He seems indecisive, hesitant, maybe even slow-witted. Something annoying about him.
But they are paying him to sit there, so Mr. Gates calls the meeting to order and directs their attention to the consultant.
He speaks clearly, deliberately, and authoritatively, but he doesn’t say much. He says:
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
“Tried that,” says Pitt to himself. “What the hell does blessed mean?” mutters Trump under his breath. “Kingdom of heaven?” whisper a few. When one snickers quietly, the rest join in.
He goes on:
“Blessed are they that mourn, for they shall be comforted.”
Clinton smiles slyly; Trump is annoyed and starts to say something, but the consultant looks at him and he is silenced.
“Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.” Irritated laughter from Trump, raising of the eyebrow from Putin, folded arms around the table.
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be filled.”
“Filled?” Bonds and Pitt, simultaneously. Trump rises to leave.
“Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.” Trump throws his Waterman, just missing the consultant and slams the door behind him. Bonds chuckles, Putin sighs.
“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” The six remaining check their watches, Clinton yawns.
“Blessed are the peacemakers,” Bonds laughs, “For they shall be called the sons of God.”
“Only sons?” Clinton objects, though not aloud.
“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
Pitt rises, slowly – Gates resigns the chair to Putin and leaves, followed by Pitt.
“Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all manner of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad.
Bonds and Clinton glance at each other knowingly. Putin follows Gates our the door