Wednesday, October 20, 2010

I don't want it.....the "American Dream" that is....

Source here
I wrote this several years ago before I was married.  I was working as a full time physical therapist in an outpatient clinic.  I had a decent amount of extra money that often consumed my thoughts and my actions.  Although years have passed since I originally shared my heart on the matter of the "American Dream" the words still apply today.

Maybe it's time!?!  Time for change.  Time for sacrifice.  Time for discipline.  Time to wake up and realize life is truly short. 

The theme of life, as of late, has been why in my attempt to avoid the "American Dream" lifestyle am I still drawn to it and [often times] acting it out?  "It" is my ball and chain.  Many of us think we aren't trying to live out the American Dream, but I ask is that true?  The so called "Dream" includes things like buying our children a gift each time we go to the store; buying enough Christmas presents that we have to save all year or JACK UP the credit cards to please people; live in a house that could fit 5 people when there are only 2 of us; working more than we sleep; living a life of debt; having wireless internet plus the best cell phone package plus 10 billion tv channels while still owning more than one video game system.  The list could go on and on without scratching the surface.  I don't do many of those things, but that is the point: THE "DREAM" HAS SO MANY ANGLES, SO MANY TEMPTATIONS, SO MANY WAYS OF STEALING OUR TIME, MONEY, AND GENEROSITY. 

I want to run from it...  [I have been running from it], but the ball and chain weigh me down.  After... many months [years] of  thoughts on how to [avoid] the "American Dream" [attitude]  I believe the next few months will bring [continued] change.  Change in my [our] life that I only hope will be evident to those around me...

By the way, why is it called a "Dream?"  My best guess: it's FANTASY.  It's not what we REALLY want.  [Or is it?]  If so, aren't we all dreaming about CAOS, because it seems to be the way many American families function--now-a-days?


I am thankful to say a few years later the ball is a little lighter and the chain a little looser.  God continues to work in my heart purging me of the "Dream."  The majority of the change has come as a result of the Holy Spirit presenting me with the questions,

"CAN YOU SAY NO TO YOUR FLESH?"

"CAN YOU BE SATISFIED WITH WHAT YOU NEED VERSUS WHAT YOU WANT?"

"WILL YOU CHOOSE JOY?"

"HOW CAN YOU MAKE LIFE FUN WITH THE RESOURCES YOU HAVE?"

I have no doubt, if I am open to change, God will continue working in my life and the life of my family. I pray my children are satisfied with and thankful for the simple things.

What is your ball and chain?

What area of your life have you surrendered to the "American Dream?"

Will you say no to your flesh and allow God to take it back?

Will you choose joy? (Don't worry I have to remind myself to do this often, sometimes daily)

  

5 comments:

Nate and Molly said...

Have you read Radical: Taking your faith back from the American Dream? (by David Platt). It's awesome and speaks EXACTLY to your blog--if you can't tell from the title! Platt is a local pastor here in Birmingham and the book is making a big impact around here and elsewhere. Nate and I are in the middle of it and it's powerful, life-changing stuff.

Warren Baldwin said...

Wise words. We have used financial opportunities here to please self instead of sharing with those in need. The result after many years of self-indulgence: the poor still need help but most of the population is too deep in debt to be able to help, or even care. Good post.

Suzanne said...

Hey Amber, I found you while I was blog hopping and wanted to say hello!
Really liked your insight about the American Dream, didn't Casting Crowns have a song called that too? Anyway, hi! :)

Kindra said...

Great reminder Amber of what shouldn't be our focus in this life. I must say though, that when I hear the words 'American Dream', I honestly don't think about attaining worldly possesions. I think of the fact that in America, individuals aren't limited by what caste they are born into, how much influence their family has or what their government says they are allowed to do. I just think of the fact that our country provides the greatest opportunities in the world and that a person in limited only by themselves in achieving their goals, whatever they happen to be. Just thought I'd share my perspective :)

Heidi said...

GREAT thoughts to ponder, Amber!

Love those questions at the end, I find myself having to CHOOSE joy and say 'no' to the flesh day in and day out - it's a constant renewal process.