He stood there alone hands in pockets feeling that last few dollars with cold fingers almost numb but for a slight warm feeling running through his veins from a heart only ticking if there was money left to gamble anything a few dimes was all he needed to keep alive.Knowing his bank account was empty he pondered whether he could possibly put these last few dollars on the tables.
All reasoning slowly leaving him as the lure of the casino warmed his blood and increased the flow of adrenaline; reason lacked , there was no turning back ; too many people to serve and the only way he knew how to serve now was to imagine that one big win which would serve all his debts and leave him plenty to buy himself a new lifestyle.
The new lifestyle or was it the old one was rushing into his veins as he turned the corner towards the lights of the Casino he would put it all on the table he thought at least that way he felt he had a better chance of winning , it was all about appearances was it not and he imagined that if he held enough chips to look as if he was not too bothered about whether he lost or won he would fare better . Random wins and luck did not enter his brain no it was all about how you played .
Today he was playing the rush , the rush was the art of playing for just a few moments as if losing did not matter because eventually before too long the winning line would appear.
What he did not bargain for whilst playing the rush was that as he begged the machine to give him something; the machine was not listening and in a matter of minutes all his money was gone and with it his new lifestyle and the erasing of servitude to the people he owed.
His pockets were now empty , his hands cold as the blood from his heart froze and the smile from his face altered into that downward sunken look that his wife and children pitied .
How was he going to spend the entire week without a dime until next pay day and even as pay day approached he knew that it would not erase his debts and once again he would be on the chase for that elusive win .
That voice in his head again chastising and ashamed ;Why could he not realise that all the wins in the world would not make up for all he was missing out on, he raged and fought with the slot machines in his head.
He missed so much , he missed the taste of freedom in walking the dog , in cooking a meal , in drinking a bottle of wine and watching a film , he missed really being there for his family, he missed the exhilirating feeling one gets from exercise in the fresh air as opposed to the dingy atmosphere of the casino.
He knew these finer feelings too for often before the curse of gambling became his affliction he had tasted these freedoms and the pleasure derived from living in the moment.
What would become of him ? well something both strange and wonderful happened to him. As he walked home from the casino an angel dropped by and helped him , he did not know at the time it was an angel but as this story unfolds he will indeed know that only an angel could have saved him.
He got home just about an hour before his wife and children arrived and as everything was ready for dinner he decided to go and have a short rest before his family returned. As he climbed the steps to the bedroom sad and empty he felt the energy seep out of his body he called out ‘ Angel help me now’ and he collapsed and lay there for some time during that time he had a dream a very real and disturbing dream , also a beautiful dream.
He found himself sitting at a large table with a beautiful book on it; as he gazed at the book he noticed his name on the cover and as he turned the pages he saw lots of photographs of himself as a baby, as a child laughing and smiling with family and then as a student, as a footballer with all his friends laughing and smiling, at parties, at weddings, at his own wedding and then at his children’s births; at their first days of school and he smiled and remembered all these times with pride and love for all the people he had shared his life with.
He eagerly turned the pages to look at more and more wonderful times in his life and then a page appeared with a picture of a crossroads showing two distinct roads , one marked right and one marked left,this is when the angel appeared a lovely shining being in front of his eyes holding two books the angel said to him ‘you choose, because you are in charge’.
The books were held out to him and he was so eager to learn what they held but the angel said to him ‘these books have not been completed yet and today as you struggled up these stairs in such despair calling out for help I pitied you because I knew that you had within you the resources to live this book’, and he lifted up the book he held in his right hand,’ but you have started to write the wrong book’, and he lifted up the book in his left hand . ‘It is now up to you you have 2 choices; write this wonderful book here on my right similar to the book you have been reading which has brought so much joy to you; or,’ carry on writing this book here on the left which will leave you feeling as you did today and much worse because at the end of it you will have missed so much and you will never have had that elusive win you so crave and you will then know it was all in vain. On the other hand if you choose to take up writing this book here on the right you have much to look forward to in your next reading of your life my good man,start slowly and record daily 10 things you are grateful for.’
After theses words the angel disappeared and there was a noise from the kitchen; as he slowly felt himself rise up from the stairs he turned around not alone his body but his life .
Oh how he wanted to write that lovely book on the right and so full of gratitude was he that at once his family noticed the lovely aura that surrounded him and one by one they came towards him and hugged him .
- His life improved with every day and every day he was grateful for at least 10 things in his life and he wrote them in the journal that the angel had advised him to keep; the journal became a rich tapestry of a wonderful life and many stories began in that journal were in themselves enlightening stories to share with others .That elusive dream of living the good life did not come from winning big at the casino but it came about because of his gratitude for everything in his life each day and some of his stories became best-sellers. He came to know that gratitude reaps the fine reward of abundance and for this he was grateful and always ready to help others by sharing his story. The dream about the angel gave him the encouragement and belief he needed to believe in himself as the author of his wonderful life .