Many of us live a lifestyle that allows us access to what some call instant gratification. Many have large amounts of personal credit in order to buy what they want when they want it. We have electronics whose primary purpose is to provide entertainment for us at any time of the day or night. We have industries that provide food and other necessities of life that now can be delivered by a drone. All of these cultural amenities are designed for our pleasure.
But these pleasures are momentary and must be renewed or replace constantly. We either need to replace what we have consumed or else grow bored with what we have and desire to replace it with what we think is better. There are some who believe human life is just about seeking pleasure and avoiding pain. And so we try to hop for one lily pad of desire to another, always within the uncertainty of what could happen if we miss and encounter misfortune as we do.
God speaks to us of eternal life. God’s words are placed with the parentheses of birth and death (a finite amount of time) and death and eternity (the infinite). God desires that we use the former to prepare for the latter. This cannot be done if our lives are more about momentary pleasure than appreciative preparation.
We don’t like to think about death, but we should. If we would, in the context of faith, we would live much differently, or would we? It likely depends on whether we can grasp glorification and its superiority to gratification.
Thus the parable calls us to think, contemplate, and awake.