please knockA man lived in a house that was built on a steep bluff.  He had lived there all his life and was quite comfortable there.  The house was in a state of general disarray but the man never noticed because this was all he ever knew.  The foundation of the house was also slowly being to erode down the side of the bluff but again, the man did not care all too much because it was his lifelong home.

One day this man received a knock on his front door.  A stranger whom he had never seen was standing at the door.  The stranger introduced himself and was invited in by the man to have coffee.  The two began talking and the stranger complimented the man on his dwelling place.  He then informed the man that he lived at the very top of the hill, along with many other people, and that they were preparing a feast.  The man seemed interested in the stranger’s description of his home and the upcoming feast and was pleased when the stranger invited him over to visit.

After some thinking the man decided that he would visit the stranger at his home since he seemed like a respectable man and a feast sounded like a pleasant thing to attend.  So the man prepared himself for a visit by cleaning up and putting on his tattered yet respectable clothing.  Then he heard a knock at the front door again.  Before he could get to the front door, it burst open and a new stranger walked into the man’s living room.  “Can I help you,” the man said trying to be polite despite this rude entrance.  The new stranger began shouting to the man and pointing to the general disarray of his house.  The man had never realized what his home looked like before and immediately became embarrassed.  The new stranger then began warning the man that if he did not leave his home soon it was going to fall down the side of the bluff and he had better hurry up and follow him to the top of the hill.

Well as you can suspect, the man was quite irritated by the way this new stranger had burst into his home and insulted him.  This caused him to think twice about going to the top of the hill for the feast.  The first stranger was a kind man, but if there were more people like this new stranger there, the man did not think he would have a good time.  So he chased the new stranger out of his house and told him never to come back again. He decided the top of the hill would not be a very nice place and besides, he was quite happy staying where he was at.

So that is what the man did.  The first stranger came back to check on the man a couple times, and the man always invited him in, but he never again felt comfortable leaving with him to attend the feast at the top of the hill.  After some time, the foundation of the house eroded so much that it collapsed down the side of the bluff with the man in it.  The only thing left standing was the front door with a sign reading, “Please knock.”