The Twilight Zone episode “A Nice Place to Visit” aired on April 15, 1960. In his signature style, Rod Sterling narrated the predicament of a thief named Rocky. During one of his robberies, he is shot and killed by police. He wakes up and is greeted by a man dressed in white who we discover is his guide. The guide explains to a suspicious Rocky that he has died, but that he is in a place where he can get anything he wants.
Rocky wants to live in a beautiful hotel room, eat the best meals and win every game. Rocky thinks that he is in heaven. Unfortunately, just a few months later, Rocky frustratingly tells his guide: “I’m bored… I am going to go nuts if I have to stay here another day, I want to go to the other place.” His guide responds: “You are in the other place.”
During the month of November, we remember the Four Last Things: Death, Judgment, Heaven and Hell. In any journey, you need to know where you are going to get there. We do not want to mistake hell for heaven as Rocky did in the Twilight Zone episode. Popular depictions of heaven often depict it in similar ways to Rocky’s heaven: a place where we get what we want. That would only lead to boredom and misery. As St. Augustine reminds us, “Our hearts are restless until they rest in you, O Lord.” In heaven, all our desires are fulfilled perfectly in God. During this month of November we remember that we want to get to heaven to be with God.