Maintaining the American Dream
By Jacqi Ballough
What is the American Dream?
Is it success at your job? Equal opportunity? Having a house, car, and family?
Having a well-stocked savings account, or an excellent education? Liberty to do what you want when you want?
The Merriam-Webster online dictionary defines the American Dream as “an American social ideal that stresses egalitarianism and especially material prosperity.”
In 1931, James Truslow Adams coined the term “American Dream” in his book The Epic of America. He proclaimed the American Dream to be “that dream of a land in which life should be better and richer and fuller for everyone, with opportunity for each according to ability or achievement.”
According to these declarations, “I” have achieved the ultimate American Dream. Now the challenge is to maintain it. Right?
Over the last 12 months I have spent much of my time, finances, and energy maintaining the house, appliances, pool, cars, yard, and boat; not to mention keeping up with continuing education and countless business and relationship opportunities.
Then I think of our Heavenly Father’s Dream. Do these definitions and proclamations match His? Is He even mentioned or credited for our prosperity or ability? Can we truly achieve anything apart from Him? No.
I hear His voice saying, “Maintain our relationship, My truths, My values, and My love for others. Do not allow My gifts to you to be perverted into selfish ambition and pride. I gave everything to you to use in service for My kingdom and glory. Be humble and thankful. I placed you in the land of Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness to proclaim Eternal Life through the sacrifice of My son Jesus Christ, Liberty from the bondage of sin, and the happiness which comes from knowing Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. Seek Me for wisdom on how to use the provisions and abilities I have given you. It’s simple. All that which is apart from Me is worthless but My Spirit lives in you and will guide you. Listen and set your eyes on that which is eternal. Then the fruit of the spirit will abound.”
Everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ. Philippians 3:8
Thank you Lord for your voice and truth. Thank you for the life, liberty, and joy you have blessed me with. Forgive me for acting with selfish ambition and pride and keep me from the temptation of it. Give me wisdom and clarity on how and when to use the resources and abilities You have provided. I pray I can be effective in speaking your truth and demonstrating your unconditional love. Make me be still and delete distractions that could interfere with your voice. Open the doors You want me to walk through and shut the ones which diverge from your path. Help me maintain Your Dream for my life.