The Second Chance
The man approached Heaven’s gates with a hopeful look on his face. He’d lived a good life and was confident on his chances of getting into the pearly gates.
St Peter greeted him with a warm smile and said, “Welcome to heaven. Before you can enter, I need to ask you three routine questions.”
“Sure thing,” the young man replied confidently.
St Peter started, “First question: Have you been faithful to your spouse?”
The man nodded without hesitation, “Yes, I have. I was happily married for 40 years.”
“Good,” St Peter said with a nod. “Second question: Have you ever stolen anything, even something small?”
The man thought for a moment before replying, “No, I’ve never stolen anything. I believe in honesty and integrity.”
St Peter smiled, “Excellent. Now, the final question: Can you recite the Lord’s Prayer?”
The young man took a deep breath and began reciting, “Our father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.”
St Peter looked impressed, but then the man eagerly added, “For thine is the power and the glory, forever and ever, amen.”
St Peter’s face fell. “I’m sorry, my dear boy, but that is not part of the Lord’s Prayer. I cannot allow you into heaven.”
The young man was devastated. “But I’ve lived a good life. Surely there must be some other way?”
St Peter thought for a moment before saying, “Well, seeing as you have lived an honest life, I will allow you to go back down to earth and try again. But this time, you must pay some penance, and make sure to get the Lord’s Prayer correct.”
The young man nodded eagerly, grateful for the second chance. Suddenly, there was a bright flash of light, and he woke up in a strange, noisy place.
He looked around, confused, and saw a small boy staring at him. “Excuse me,” the young man said, “Do you know where I am?”
The boy looked at him quizzically and replied, “No problem! You’re in Lagos, Nigeria. But some of us call it Hell”.