In the Rockies.
I didn’t take Econ 101, but here’s how I see things. On earth, value is determined by supply and demand. Whatever the medium—apparel, collectibles, natural resources, even relationships (sad, huh)—the drab "economic" rule always applies. That makes scarcity a paramount factor. What is rarely beautiful, rarely printed, or rarely produced, is highly valuable.
But when I transfer this grid to my picture of heaven, I have to somehow redefine the values of my equation. Why?
Because there will be great preciousness in heaven. But joy and beauty will not be in short supply. In fact, perfection—in form, in spirit, in conduct—will be the medium with which we interact.
As Paul put it:
…We know that when these bodies of ours are taken down like tents and folded away, they will be replaced by resurrection bodies in heaven—God-made, not handmade… We’ve been given a glimpse of the real thing, our true home… The Spirit of God whets our appetite by giving us a taste of what’s ahead. He puts a little of heaven in our hearts so that we’ll never settle for less. – 2 Corinthians 5:1-5
That seems to raise a question. In a land of flawless pleasure, unending exaltation, "true reality," how can the “highly valuable” exist? Won’t “perfection” be run-of-the-mill? Won’t preciousness lose its uniqueness? Well, no.
1) Consider that life itself will be precious, like breaths of rarified air on top of Long’s Peak in the Rockies in the sun…when for a moment, all seems right with the world. And life will not be "only" intrinsically precious (as it is here, our homicidal society notwithstanding)—it will be experientially precious, which we can’t say now. Things will change irrevocably for the better, transformed by an inexhaustible resource: Christ's presence...
He'll wipe every tear from their eyes. Death is gone for good—tears gone, crying gone, pain gone—all the first order of things gone. – Revelation 21:4
2) And something else. We will have a greater understanding of “fittingness.” Everyone, at last, will appear in his or her unadulterated form, as intended by God—strikingly, mesmerizingly, uniquely alive. Beauty will be everywhere...but never commonplace.
We catch a glimpse of this sense of “fitting” when Christ promises to go “prepare a place” in heaven for his disciples—“mansions,” homes that will seemingly correspond to each personality. Will there be thousands, millions of such houses, prepared for those who knew Christ on earth? Absolutely. Will they be uniformly flawless? Yes. But each home “fitted” to a soul.
Give me uniformity of beauty any day! Standardized delight anytime. This will be a perfect abundance of scarcity.