The Vending Machine

There once was a vending machine. Now, this was no ordinary vending machine for this one dispensed absolutely anything you desired. A man learned of this vending machine and set out to have his desires filled. Now, the man was a lonely and confused individual–never certain of his place in life. He hoped the magical vending machine would give him a sense of fulfillment.

After travelling many days, he arrived at the place of the vending machine. There was a line as far as the eye could see for many had come to have their desires filled.

The man joined the line and waited.

After many months of joyful anticipation, he was only three people away from receiving what he desired.

One person inserted her quarter into the machine, punched in her desire, and the machine spat out a life full of luxury. She walked away with an enormous smile.

The next person inserted his quarter, punched in his desire, and out came a family to call his own. He was never lonely again.

The third individual–an elderly woman with a great illness–inserted her quarter, punched in her desire, and she was immediately healed of her illness! Everyone around shouted for joy!

Finally, the man who had journeyed so far and had waited so patiently inserted his quarter, punched in his desire, and waited for the machine to give him something. After a few moments of sustained silence, the person behind him suggested that he insert another quarter.

After doing so, he punched in his desire and, again, the machine was silent.

​Quickly this time, the man pulled out yet another quarter, inserted it into the vending machine, punched in his desire and again…the machine was silent.

​Frustratingly, he kicked the machine and yelled, “Why aren’t you working?”

He continued to insert quarters after quarters and dollars after dollars until he had spent every last cent he had. And still, the machine issued to reply.

​The man grabbed the vending machine and shook it violently, cursing it along the way. With tears in his eyes, he screamed, “You are worthless and you are vile and you offer empty promises!”

​He turned and began to walk away as the crowd beside him watched in disbelief.

In the distance, he heard the machine make a noise. He stopped, turned, and hesitantly walked towards it. The crowd’s silence was palpable.

​The man reached into the bottom of the machine to discover what it had finally given him. He pulled out a small piece of paper that read,

​​​​”You and the people behind you do not need a vending machine at all. ​This is your fulfillment”

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