I love America.
Leaving all political/religious/societal contention alone for the moment, I love America.
To me, when I think of America, I get pictures in my head of cookouts my family used to have for the Fourth of July. Fireworks. I remember learning about the patriots and the character of the people who started our country. I think about the fun parts of my very American childhood--lazing away summer afternoons at a friend's house, playing and refereeing soccer in our local league, going to the ocean, going to camp.
Besides that, I know I've grown up to believe in some more-or-less American values. Hard work. Making something out of yourself. Loving your country. Loving your community.
Those are pretty good values if taken in proper context. But I've been realizing lately that there are some values I have come to believe in that are also a part of our culture, and that are not what the Lord would have for me.
You see, I think I've subconsciously bought into a warped American Dream. From what I understand, generations before mine have believed in an "American Dream" which was something like this: Work hard, love God, love your family, and you'll have a chance at a good life. Not an easy, lazy life, but a good one. Enough food. Sufficient shelter. Material comforts to some degree or other. And contentment in the fruits of your labors.
Now, maybe that dream isn't perfect and maybe I'm not quite right in my definition, but you get the idea.
Now we come to my generation. The generation that believes in the warped version of that dream. The one that says, "Yeah, I should probably work hard, but if I don't have to, I won't. My goals are to be accepted by the people around me, to be entertained, and to have all the cool things I can buy."
Don't think I'm being mean. I love my generation; I just recognize that we have issues. And I know I may be exaggerating both points of view. But still, so many people my age have had life so easy in so many ways--myself included--that we think the rest of our lives should be that easy.
The reason I'm thinking all that is because I've felt that attitude here at college. Like I said in my last post ... studying just isn't my favorite thing. I keep thinking of how I just want it to be summer. I want to go back into those good memories of peaceful summer days, good friends, and no worries or pressures or undesired work.
That's a warped dream.
My God has bigger dreams/desires for me. Bigger than my warped American Dream or even the original American Dream. He desires me to bring glory to Him and to help others come to know Him. He desires me to be a living sacrifice (Romans 12:1).
I want His dreams to be mine.