I enjoy writing in different settings, particularly when blogging. I’m not sure why. Maybe I love watching people. I might even enjoy eavesdropping on conversations around me.
Please stop judging me.
For this post, I chose the commons of a local Christian library. While searching for an interesting story to frame the points, God hit me with a holy face slap (which is much less painful and more productive than the slaps I’ve received from a few unnamed women).
Sitting across the commons was a guy wearing a red hat with the words “Make America great again.”
Mind you, I’m in a Christian library, not a Presidential debate. The American dream penetrates deep into the heart of Christian culture.
What is the American dream? I defer you to Jerry Reinsdorf, owner of the Chicago Bulls. While celebrating Michael Jordan’s retirement, he said this:
“The American Dream is to reach a point in your life where you don’t have to do anything you don’t want to do and can do everything that you do want to do.”
Make no mistake. There are few, if any, similarities between the call of Jesus and the American dream.
Could it be that our idea of following Jesus is actually a perverted American dream with some gospel sprinkled on top? Could it be that American pursuits drive us away from Jesus? Could it be that our temporary dreams prepare us for an eternal nightmare?
Here are seven signs you love the American dream more than Jesus.
1.) If Jesus returned today, you would be disappointed.
Let’s assume a signal goes out 30 minutes before Jesus’ return, giving you time to process the past, present and future (or lack, thereof). Would you be excited about His coming? Would you feel robbed? Would you be apathetic?
I’m being honest. While I would be beyond ecstatic if Jesus returned, I’m not exactly longing for his return. Paul says creation longs for restoration. That’s foreign to me.
My life is great. I’m doing work I love. I have an amazing family. I’m healthy. There’s really no need to return right now, Jesus. If you have some other items to knock out in heaven, go ahead with those. I’m good here for now.
Maybe you share my thoughts. But you shouldn’t.
Creation longs for restoration because it finds no comfort or satisfaction on earth. For every Frank, who enjoys a comfortable life on earth, dozens are so overcome with grief or pain, they can’t imagine another second on this planet.
Several months ago, I stared this reality in the face. While serving at a homeless food kitchen, I noticed a man overcome with anger and sadness. He was pacing back and forth, unable to eat. After watching this for several minutes, I finally asked him to go with me in another room and talk.
As a pastor, you hear incredibly sad stories. This man’s story might “take the cake.”