Once, while on a short vacation to Jamaica, I would go out by the pool each morning for some fresh coconut milk. An employee of the small inn, who also served as the maintenance man, would be there cleaning the pool and cracking open coconuts for the guests. Often, there would be only the two of us and we would question each other about our respective cultures. As for me, I had not yet retired from my career as a general contractor. Toward the end of my stay, I asked if he had ever been off the island. He said that he had not, and that his dream was to move to the USA. I gave him a business card and suggested that if he ever did, he could give me a call and I would hire him.

Three or four years later, my phone rang and a voice with a strong Jamaican accent said, “Hello mon! This is your friend from Jamaica. I am now in the US and I need directions to find you.”

Well, of course I was surprised, and I asked where was he calling from. “Oh! New York City.” he said. I politely explained that it would be his responsibility to travel the 1260 miles to work for me, and I never heard from him again. I have often wondered what happened to him. Maybe I will see him again some day in the next life.

In John 14:2-3, Jesus told Peter, “In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.”

A while back as I was reading this scripture, I thought about my Jamaican friend. He was born and had lived for over forty years on a small island. Although he wanted to get off, he was marooned due to his circumstances. Heaven to him, would have been to go to America and bask in the the land that he had heard was flowing with “milk and honey.” It could be that he had never read the invitation offered by Jesus in John 14:2-3. You see, all he needed to do was to come to faith and wait a while longer there on the island. Then he would have been ushered into Paradise by angels and into a mansion prepared by the One who is the Master Builder. Instead, he settled for a sin-infested city in a sin-infested nation on a sin-infested planet.

So, where is our ultimate hope? It is found in 1 Corinthians 2:9, where it says …

“But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.”

May the multitudes choose Heaven, and leave New York and the rest of this world to the rats that infest it!

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