A servant of the Emperor Charles V was dying after many years of faithful service to his master. Because of his long service, the Emperor had a special affection for him, and filled with sincere grief, came to see him for the last time of his life.
"My dear friend," said the Emperor, as he stood by the bedside of the dying servant, "you have served me so devotedly that I only wish I could make you some return. Is there anything at all that you desire? Let me know what it is, and I will see that you receive it."
"Yes," said the dying man. "There is one favor I would like to receive from your hands."
"What is it?" said the Emperor eagerly.
"Give me one more day of life--just one more day."
The Emperor's face grew sad.
"Alas," he said, "I am considered to be one of the most powerful monarchs upon this earth, but what you ask is entirely beyond my power to give. Only GOD can grant and sustain the gift of life."
With a deep sigh, the dying man said:
"Then it is plain to me that I was foolish in not spending more time in the service of GOD than in the service of an earthly king."