“You know,” said God almost reflectively in a conversation that just seemed to come up, “most people that end up goin’ to hell are those who can’t let go of their past. Some mourn over losin’ their possessions, some the loss of power and authority, and still others who can’t get over the guilt of whatever they’ve done wrong in their earthly life. They haven’t learned to forgive themselves. They just haven’t learned to let go of their earthly existence.”
“That’s the trouble,” lamented Schwartz, “I can’t get over my earthly life. There are so many accomplishments I’ve made and at the same time so many people I’ve cheated and – oh my – so many things I have to account for – “ He sounded totally pathetic.
“You sound totally pathetic,” commented God. “As long as you hold on to these things, you’ll never get to heaven.”
“So nothing I accomplished or accumulated on earth has any meaning here?”
“Diddley squat” replied God.
“So what was I so busy doin’ there then?”
“Basically, you were wastin’ everybody’s time – includin’ your own.”
“Well then. What was the point of my bein there?”
“It was to test the resolve of your spirit. You see, everybody has two spirits – a good one and an evil one. You seem to have been governed by the latter for most of your life. Yet you never really abandoned the good one. Look at what you did for Tony Bennet. It came quite naturally to you. You possess many talents that can be helpful here in heaven, but you can’t do anything for anybody as long as you hold on to memories of your earthly life. They just get in the way.”
“But I worked my whole life to accumulate those things. I can’t just let all that go!”
“Think of it this way,” said God, “it’s like going to school and learning algebra and geometry and quantum physics, and then when you graduate, you get a job as a shoe-shine boy. You never needed any o’ that mathematical crap in the first place. That’s how it is with earthly life.”
“Mmm,” mused Schwartz. It somehow didn’t seem right to him, but who was he to argue with God?