How to Get into Heaven – and Stay There


The voice sounded familiar.

“Just don’t!” It whispered.

The message was familiar too.

“Don’t do what?” I had to ask.

Somewhat perplexed, it admitted, “I haven’t a clue, I just felt compelled to scold you. I suppose it’s force of habit.”

I recognized the voice. The timbre, the tone and especially that annoying nasal twang were all unmistakable. These were the auditory signatures of my guardian angel. To be more accurate, my ex-guardian angel.  He retired two and a half years ago. Now he was back.

And that could not good.

“Am I in serious trouble?”

“No more than usual.”

“Then why the visit?”

He sighed a long sigh. “I wasn’t happy in heaven, so I got sent back.”

How could that be?

“Isn’t heaven supposed to be the perfect place where everyone is happy all the time?”

“It is.”


“The trouble is, heaven is populated by exceptionally good people.  For that matter, so is Earth – but that is a huge problem.”

He wasn’t talking sense.

“Imagine, if you will, a place with seven hundred billion absolutely wonderful people who are all absolutely certain that they know what it is to be good and what it is to do good.”

“Sounds like a mess.”

“It is, which makes it very bureaucratic. To resolve anything requires endless meetings and to truly understand eternity, you have to sit through a meeting in heaven.”

“Sounds more like hell.”


“I don’t get it.”

“In hell, everyone is absolutely certain that they are right and therefore they believe that anyone who disagrees with them is either evil or wrong.”

“Oh, you mean like a Home Owner Association?”


“Ooooo, that is hell – so what is different in heaven?”


It took a while for the word to sink in.

“Oh, since everyone has their own idea of what is good and how to be good, they realize that everyone else does too, so they check their egos and respect each other.  Therefore things like do unto others and the first shall be last and last shall be first – actually get a chance to work.”

“You betchya,” he said, “and there is only one sure way to get into heaven and stay there and for that matter, the only thing that can create heaven on earth is humility.  It is knowing in your heart that the more you feel something is right, the greater the chances are that it is wrong – so you respect the beliefs and goodwill of others.”

“Pretty profound stuff,” I told him.

“It’s why I got sent back.  All my career, I have been telling people what to do and what not to do, instead of focusing on humility.  So the Big Guy cycled me through for training.”

I spotted my opportunity.

“Does that mean you are going to stop bugging me with your ‘don’t do this’ and ‘don’t do that’ and respect my decisions?”


“Yeah, me.”

“Not a chance.”

Author: Almost Iowa

53 thoughts on “How to Get into Heaven – and Stay There”

  1. Welcome back to the blogosphere. Can’t say I blame you for escaping Minnesota winters, it’d be a nice place to live apart from that below zero nastiness. Your post kind of reminded me of “The Good Place”, a TV show that’s recently gone to visit its G.A.

  2. So glad you are back to posting! I’ve missed the way you manage to make such sharp observations in humorous posts, and this one was no exception. Humility makes all the difference, especially among “do-gooders.” Which, let’s face it, is most of us.

  3. Greg, this is you in fine form, indeed. Glad to hear you’re enjoying your beach time down south. I couldn’t stop laughing reading this, because, of course, heaven and hell are purely earthly in conception and execution. Please continue – ASAP. And enjoy the Eagles concert!

    1. of course, heaven and hell are purely earthly in conception and execution

      In many ways, heaven and hell are precisely the same place. Anyone who has laid eyes on the architecture and style of the 1970’s can attest to that. 🙂

    1. I am sure he would proclaim himself the most humble man alive, maybe even the most humble human ever – which of course would drive his detractors bonkers, which of course is why he would say it.

  4. Be still my heart. You’re back on the airways, and you brought your Guardian Angel. Does it get much better than that? Well, maybe if you had a couple of spares to send out to your faithful readers who have missed your humor and sarcasm. 🙂 Hope all is well with you and the boss, and hope you bring us up to date although I did see you’re still traveling and will head home the first of April with the rest of us snowbirds. Safe travels, and don’t stay away quite so long the next time. 🙂

    1. It is amazing how many Minnesotan snowbirds we have run into. It is a wonder anyone is at home. Julie bought tickets to a concert in early April – but I remember last April, brrrrrrr. Before we left, I mounted a camera on the garage so I can see the front yard. When I see green instead of white, I will consider heading back in that direction.

  5. I’m joining the chorus of welcome back!
    While for some, being on a tropical island would be heaven, for me it would be hell.
    After getting my butt kicked a few times, I tend to listen better to my g.a. and it usually means not saying and not doing……

    1. I’d be willing to try the marooned on a tropical island thing. Halfway through the film, Cast Away, when ‘Wilson’ shows up, I thought, “Man, that place is getting crowded.”

  6. Have missed your humor up here! As some kind of guardian something or other, I’m tellin’ ya–DON’T stop writing and sharing!

    1. So glad not to be in Minnesota. Like -20 below. After getting snowbound in our truck at -70 windchill, that was the end of our relationship with winter.

    1. To tell the truth, my guardian angel stopped by for a visit and suggested we collaborate on a post. I said, “Sure, you do the writing, I’ll do the typing.

  7. Good to see you and your guardian angle back in my inbox. Endless meetings are certainly hell on earth, or perhaps the meetings just descend into hell once the conference room door closes.

    1. The worst meetings are the ones you have to stay awake for. In my 20’s, 30’s, 40’s and half way through my 50’s, I never had a problem with sleeping through meetings – then I started to snore, LOUDLY.

  8. Greg, Nice. I misplaced my marbles years ago. When I retired I deliberately eliminated my give a damn. Just in case I felt the urge to keep looking for the marbles. Or anything else. In the case of GA or HOA there is always battery failure in the hearing aid. Now how did I get in this room ?

  9. That HOA reference cracked me up, but I found myself humming, “This could be heaven, this could be hell.” Are you sure your guardian angel hasn’t been hanging out at the Hotel California? That could lead to some philosophizing — and maybe even a little humility.

    1. Are you sure your guardian angel hasn’t been hanging out at the Hotel California?

      It would explain a lot. We will be returning to Minnesota during the first week of April… to attend an Eagles concert in Saint Paul. Heck of a consistence.

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