The American Dream. I want that. Right? Is that okay? It's kind of a question that I have really been struggling with in the last month or so.
This book I've been reading called The Irresistible Revolution by Shane Claiborne has really been challenging me to question what our "real" dream should be. I don't know. I have a lot of thoughts about it.
Sometimes I'll be having a conversation with an old friend, one of those typical conversations "Hey, how's life?" "Oh you know, good. Just livin' the dream..." I caught myself saying it. What is the dream again?
It's not necessarily wrong in any way; I mean you grow up and you're told that you need to graduate high school with good grades and then find a decent college, graduate with some business degree or science degree or something that is going to make you a lot of money and, and in the mean time you're supposed to find a girl you want to marry then marry her before you graduate college so you can start your family before you go to grad school so you can get an even better paying job to give your family a really great life and then you have a kid and then...you know what happens. Life goes on just the same.
It's what we're supposed to do, right?
It seems so right and so normal.
And comfortable. It's all so we can be comfortable. What's comfortable again?
It's living in a nice new subdivision on the outskirts of town. And owning a "environmentally friendly" SUV to take up to the mountains. And buying a nice boat to spend weekends on the lake. And being happy. And comfortable.
I just don't know. Why do we need to be so comfortable? Whats the point in it? It makes us happy I guess. But isn't it kind of empty to just be comfortable?
They say this is the land of opportunity. It is, I'm not arguing that. But it's also the land of materialism and consumerism and hypocrisy.
It's like all we care about as a society is making more money. Or investing wisely. Or buying gold because the cost of a dollar is going down. It's just stuff like that. It seems so empty. I mean we spend our lives working our butts off to give our families a better and more comfortable life just to some day be buried in the ground. We don't get to take any of these treasures of life up to heaven with us so why do they matter so much here on earth?
Jesus told us to sell everything we had and give it to the poor. I don't know how we can't take that literally at least a little bit? Seriously... Sure, its modern day now and times have changed and so its not meant to be taken literally by us...
Take the perspective of a homeless man. He is comfortable tonight because he gets to sleep underneath the awning at the bank downtown. Oh, and he found a blanket in the dumpster. Take my perspective. I had a good dinner tonight and today was also payday. I would say I'm pretty comfortable. Now take the perspective of a millionaire living by the golf course. Is he comfortable tonight?
Writing this makes me uncomfortable just to let you know. I really have no room to talk. And I'm not trying to make anyone feel guilty, though I do. In The Irresistible Revolution, Claiborne mentions a phrase that made me think. "God comforts the disturbed, and disturbs the comfortable." It totally makes sense. I am pretty comfortable, but am I really happy?
I think that we are longing for something more of this world than our sweet little suburban homes and 8 to 5 jobs.
Lets do something.
Reach out to someone.
Touch someone's life.
What is our "real" dream?
"Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." - Jesus