This story is the best of the lot. It’s well worth the 1 and half minutes it takes to read it. Enjoy!
This is story about businessman, who although he was successful was very abrasive in his interpersonal relationships. In short he was miserable.
He planned to buy the entire 17th floor of the Azrieli Tower, a prestigious skyscraper in Tel Aviv but a big business deal of his went sour. He bought some land in Romania, that he was promised was zoned for construction, but infact it was zoned for agriculture and it was a bad investment.
He lost all his wealth and fell deeply into debt. Looking to borrow money he was directed to a loan company on the 17th floor of the Azrieli Tower. He entered the loan office, signed the papers and got the cash he needed. Before he left the building, he decided look around a bit and went on the roof to admire the view. When he got up there, the door quickly slammed closed behind him and he couldn’t get out.
Thinking quickly he started to throw 200 shekel bills down on the pedestrians below. Surely this would attract someone’s attention and they would look upwards to see where the ‘manna’ was coming from. But no, the money was gleefully swept up but no-one bothered looking upwards. He had dumped his whole loan on the street below, and not one person had bothered to look up. It was getting cold now, and he was getting desperate.
Stuck in a fox-hole, he called out to Hashem. His heart-felt prayers reached Shemayim and an idea was planted in his head. There was a lot of gravel on the roof and he decided to throw some of these stones off the roof, and this time people did look up. Soon the police arrived and although he talked them out of arresting him, he was still in a sorry mess.
He went home, sat down and began to think. When I threw money down, no-one paid me attention, but when I threw stones down, everyone looked up. He realized that this was an allegory for his life. When Hashem showered him with riches, he never once raised his eyes to him and thanked Him! Only when Hashem grew “gravel” his way – did he remember to raise eyes to G-d.
The businessman felt a strong desire to repent. He pleaded with Hashem to forgive him for all the years he had been so ungrateful. He thanked Hashem for the invaluable lesson He had taught him. He sat and thanked Hashem again and again for his life and all the goodness that Hashem gave him.
In a short time, he received a phone cal, informing him that his land in Romania had been re-zoned for construction. He became a billionaire overnight!
Based on Garden of Gratitude, Rabbi Arush, http://www.breslev.com