My American Dream
It is no secret that this country is on the cusp of a very important election. Accordingly, the two parties are positioning themselves to present the best case to the American people so that they can either remain in the White House or gain access to it. In sum, each of the candidates, which there are many at this juncture, are trying to, in so many words, describe what they are hoping to do as president in terms of the “American Dream” in light of the challenges facing the American people. Some of these challenges land squarely on the dinner table for everyone, while others only touch some. It is a difficult task indeed to be able to address the important, the urgent, the passionate, and the necessary. This blog post is written from a standpoint as if somehow I had the opportunity to speak into the “American Dream” or at least that which people understand it to be. I would say, and hope that the American people would embrace, a certain principle that I believe is largely missing today. Assuredly there is much that could be said beyond this one principle, but alas, I am endeavoring to remain focused on just this one principle. Regardless of who else listens to this, I think it is an important message for the Church and those that follow Christ to understand and embrace. Furthermore, I think it is something that can be encouraged in others—those we influence, especially those who are stepping into life’s responsibilities for the first time in a significant way.
So, with all of that being said, I believe that if the American people viewed the “American Dream” from a certain perspective things would be much better in our homes, in our communities, in our places of work, and ultimately in our nation. What is that certain aspect? Well, it is simply this: proving oneself faithful. Can you imagine a home, a community, a workplace and ultimately a nation that was comprised of individuals who were actively trying to prove themselves faithful? Indeed, many things would change and many of the problems we are facing today would be eliminated if not significantly reduced. You may say that such thinking is too idealistic and simple but yet I would offer that if people viewed that as the goal or at least one of their goals versus getting rich, getting ahead, getting by or getting a freebie, things would be different. Imagine a home where the dad viewed his priority each and every day as proving himself faithful to his wife, to his kids, to his extended family, to his neighbors, to his community, to his employer, and ultimately to his nation. Some think in such terms and are working along those lines and to those they are making a difference. However, I think for most, they have given up trying to act in such ways or have never been challenged to think in such terms. When was the last time you or I were challenged to prove ourselves faithful?
I would love to see our candidates for president talk in such terms whereby they hold a position of leadership whereby they will lead by raising the bar rather than lowering it or ignoring it. People will and have always responded to leadership and our leaders wield an incredible amount of influence. What would happen if they begin to challenge people to prove themselves faithful? Many would indeed follow, although not all but those that do would make a noticeable difference in my judgment. So, regardless of what others may do and say my question to you and to myself is this, “Are we willing to prove ourselves faithful?” In my mind this is a missing aspect of the conversation of what is the American Dream. A faithful people surely provides a culture that is healthy, hopeful, and helpful—one that allows each to pursue the very best of who they are and can be. We, as the Church, can be a great example of this. Are we willing to prove ourselves faithful to all that has been given to us including our relationships and to include our faith in God? If we are and actively work to prove it daily, I think the example set in the midst of the world becomes undeniable and enables many conversations related to the gospel (Proverbs 28:20, 1 Timothy 4:15-16). So, are you willing to prove yourself faithful? I hope so, for it, in my mind, enables us to fully live the “American Dream” the way it should be.