can't date any more. She carries her humor over to the funerals she attends. "My friends are all dropping like flies," says Joan. "I go to the funerals of my girlfriends and I hear the minister say, 'She’s in a better place.' What? Are you kidding me? No, she’s not. She had a house in the Hamptons!"
I've long thought that many Americans have lost all sense of the eternal by being sucked into the spinning whirlpool of temporal comfort and pleasure. It's an extraordinary privilege to live in American prosperity, but if the Kingdom of God seems stagnated and useless in America, it could be because Americans are satisfied and comfortable in their affluence.
What most forget is that the treasures of this life don't last. The proverbial 'moth and rust' of ancient days has become the 'debt and decay' of modern stuff. Nothing is forever. Skin sags. Investments go bust. Homes decay. Life on earth always ends. Americans fight hard to keep temporal things looking new, shiny and fresh. It's a losing battle, but affluence whispers its lie that the temporal can last. As long as affluence abounds, heaven seems an appropriate target for a comedian's joke.
It's one of the reasons that no Christian with a concern for the eternal welfare of others should ever fear economic disaster, world war, or major catastrophes in this life, such as cancer, heart attacks, or other serious illnesses. When bad thing happen to people, it always makes the eternal come into sharper focus. If America is in for a very rough time in the near future, it simply means people might become more aware of the truth that death can be the door to a better place. It requires Jesus to transform a person's life from the inside out. Isaac Watts, a Jesus follower and a man who understood the futility of lusting after the temporal, once wrote:
Cheerful in death I close my eyes,Or to put it in pictorial language: "When America's distended affluence bubble bursts, heaven will no longer be the butt of a joke about the Hamptons."
To part with every lust;
And charge my flesh whene'er it rise
To leave them in the dust.