This world is a temporary dwelling place for us, but we treat it as a permanent abode. Any day we may get the order to leave. We will not get the chance to do any packing at that time. We must be packed up in advance, prepared to leave immediately. What should we pack? What is going to go with us?
A saint visited a rich man upon invitation. The man was intoxicated with his wealth, displaying it for all to see in the form of flags outside his house. There was one flag for every million that he possessed. In talking to the man, the saint said to him, “I have a little needle which is very dear to me, and I want to give it to you for safekeeping till my next life. I shall take it from you then.” The rich man did not know what to make of this request, but he complied with it. Sometime later, the holy man left. The rich man recounted to his wife what had transpired, and she reprimanded him. You fool! How can you return the needle to the holy man in your next life? Give it back to him immediately.
The rich man ran after the saint, and returned the needle. “Why?” asked the holy man. “I cannot take your needle with me when I die,” said the rich man. “Oh! You cannot take a little needle with you, and yet you are collecting great amounts of wealth to take along!”