(This story has two endings. Decide which one you like better. Go with it.)
Joe spent his entire life listening to the angel on his right shoulder and the devil on his left. It was exhausting as they had very different voices and each tried to affect his reaction to life in different ways. The devil pointed out all the bad in the world, taught him negative self-talk and showed him how to wallow in misery. The angel, on the other hand, tried to enlighten Joe to all the gifts bestowed upon him and wanted to teach him that even hard times provided gifts of knowledge and growth if you just knew how to see them right.
Joe's life has not been an easy one. He has seen more than his share of heartbreak and hard times. There were plenty of good times as well, but the difficulties seemed to outweigh them. With so much negativity to work through, Joe had the feeling the devil was taking the upper hand in influencing his thoughts.
One day, at the end of his rope, Joe threw his arms up grasping fists full of hair on either side of his head, and begged the angel for help. "Please! Angel! I cannot take any more of the devil's negativity! His voice is so strong and loud and angry! I hear you singing praise. I hear you whispering loving words of encouragement and positivity. I hear you pointing out the good in everything, yet the devil's persistent anger is reaching a deafening level! Please! I beg of you! Help me beat this devil back!"
Ending #1 - With such a desperate plea for help upon him, the angel acted instantly, hopping over to the devil's shoulder and beat the devil senseless. Joe was thrilled! The angel won!
"I knew you had my back!" cried Joe.
Battered and shaken, the devil could hardly believed what just occurred. After a few shaky minutes he stood up, composed himself, regained his sinister look and said to the angel, "Welcome to the dark side!"
Joe then realized that the angel's quick response to his plea of battle had not saved him at all. His angel had fallen.
Ending #2 - The angel heard Joe's plea and wanted to help but he knew the best thing to do was to take his time and respond appropriately. After some head scratching and halo buffing he had an idea.
"Hey devil!" the angel hollered to get his attention. "I'm starting to understand how badly you want to win Joe over so you can make him miserable forever. I would also love to have Joe to myself to fill his mind with goodness. Well guess what? I just discovered the key to winning!"
"Oh yeah?" the devil hollered back venomously. "What is it?"
"Come over here and I'll tell you!" teased the angel.
Never one to turn down an instigation, the devil hopped over to the shoulder occupied by the angel.
"So what's your bright idea little winged man?" the devil teased.
"There's only one way to win." the angel whispered. "You need some of this."
The angel filled his heart with radiant love and blew the devil a kiss. The devil was not prepared to accept such a gift, lost his footing and fell
~ Lynn Retzlaff
(changed #2 ending slightly as comments were gently suggesting. thank you for your comments!)