The Angels' Award (An Original Chana Parable)
by Chana Klein
The Lord commanded the angels to present an award, the Angels Award, to the woman who was living the best life.
It was to be a model for others so that they will know what a good life is.
There was to be some rigorous examination by the angels. Criteria was to be decided and lots of decisions to be made before they could declare who is the most favored kind of person in Heaven, and what the good life really is. Things are not always what they seem to be. What will be the criteria to determine the winner? Who will it be? The angels traveled all over the world. They examined and discussed many possible candidates. The two that stood out were Fannie Frumkin and Mollie Malonie. Fanny and Mollie were very different from each other in their approaches to life. The angels discussed the lives of each and which one was more favored? They had to decide. Would it be Fanny Frumkin? Fanny tries really hard to be a good person. Her parents taught her that whatever she attempts in life must be done letter perfect, with no deviation, mistakes, slip-ups, or inconsistencies.
Fanny never hurts anyone. As a matter of fact, she hardly talks to anyone, either. In grade school, she studied very hard. She listened in class, but did not raise her hand to answer any questions or even to ask a question of her own. What if she did not have the correct answers? What if her own question made her sound silly? It worked! Fanny never erred. She never made a fool of herself. Isn't that admirable? Neither did she socialize with the other children. What if she took the time to be with a friend while she could have been studying for a school subject? Even in high school, Fanny did not make many friends. But that was because they might have mislead her to doing bad things. Better she should be alone!
Fanny's punctuality was perfect. She was always ready for things early. She didn't really have a lot of other things to do. So, she was never late for anything. Fanny was a very good daughter as well, always respectful to her parents and grandparents. She heeded her grandmother, who often warned her against having a bad relationship with a man. So Fanny never got married. What if she made a mistake? She never had any children, either. This caused her to avoid any parenting mistakes as well. Isn't that angelic? There were times when she met a man to whom she felt attracted. But she could not admit or accept that being with him was enjoyable. Instead, she would ask herself: "Will he make a good father some day?" Of course she did not know if she would have made a good mother, either. The point is that she was too good a person to go into a relationship for fun, or pleasure, or even companionship. It was better to stay home with Mom and have no relationship at all. Fanny is a good person, a very high soul. But, was she living her personal mission? Was she living her potential? Were the angels smiling at her? Was God smiling upon her? Will she win the angel award for all time? After all, her life is not one filled with mistakes.
And then there is Mollie Malonie. Mollie listens well in class, raises her hand to answer questions and even to ask questions of her own. She is very curious about everything she is learning. Studying for a test is often something she does with someone else, if at all. Mollie makes mistakes. She tries to help people all the time. But it does not always work. Sometimes she even hurts another's feelings. Sometimes she even says things that she later wishes she had not. But Mollie lives her life. She tries new things. Last month she went scuba diving with a group in Cancun, Mexico. She was so fascinated with the colored fish in the ocean that she got lost in the water. Once she found the correct boat and group helped her get back on, she quickly became sea sick. But she went. She tried. No matter what happens, Mollie keeps going. She does not give up. She is always ready for the next adventure. Mollie continually does acts of great kindness. She visits people in the hospital. She serves food to needy people. She provides comfort to people who feel down. Mollie believes that it is more important "who" a person is than "what" a person achieves. She finds something beautiful in each person she meets. She has a ready smile and always has something complimentary to say. She connects with God daily. Mollie feels no need to be perfect. She makes lots of mistakes. Why would the angels even consider Mollie for the Angel Award? Will she actually get the Angel Award? How could she, with all those mistakes?
Which one should get this Angel Award? The person who is so careful to not make a mistake and then does not do anything? Or should it be the person who tries and goofs-up all the time. What do you think? The angels argue it out at a Heavenly meeting. Some angels question: "If a person is not perfect like angels are, then how can we give them an angels' award?" Others say that humans are different. "A human has to make mistakes and try things in order to reach some level of perfection." But what about a person who makes mistakes? The most experienced angel shares: "Humans cannot achieve greatness without making mistakes. If they don't do anything, they can't grow as humans. henever they do act, they are likely to make mistakes. That is what a human has to do." While Fanny Frumkin looked to be perfect, she was not achieving growth or doing her mission here in this world.
The winner is announced for the entire galaxy to hear. It goes over the radio, the TV and the internet. Twitter and Facebook are alive with the news of the selection. Who will be the role model of the best way to live? It is ... Mollie Malonie! While Mollie is out there doing and erring, she is also growing and winning God's favor with her efforts to do good. It does not matter that it is not perfect. What counts is that she lives her purpose and does not shrink back in fear of doing something wrong.
Mollie was not just surprised, but rather shocked to be the recipient of such an award. She wore her best dress. But of course it got a stain. The heel on her shoe was chipped, as well. She noticed all that but showed up anyway; and no one was worse for it either.
The person who does it, who acts and takes the risk, the one who takes a stand, the person who lives with the courage to do, is the one who gets the prize.
While this is a parable that I created, it is based on the stories shared by my clients that I am so privileged to listen to. Please go to "My Own Journey From Perfection" for some real life stories on this topic. Find out how being imperfect is really closer to perfection than one might think.
Return to the STORIES page