Wednesday, December 15, 2010

the american dream

(this is a repost from July 2, 2008. Seemed like an appropriate "repost" for this time of year.)

I guess I'll just come right out and say it because I'm in that kind of mood today. I hate the American Dream! & I'm pretty sure Jesus hates it too. I think the American Dream is probably one of the biggest contributors to wasted lives!!! And most peeps are wasting their lives these days. Living for their own name and glory.

You may not be aware of this, but I think the American Dream has slowly changed from what it used to be. The great philosophers Nickelback poetically describe the current American Dream in their song "Rockstar". Read the lyrics below, but I'm sure most of you know it so go ahead and sing along in that raspy voice that leaves your throat scratchy and asking for some water. It really is a catchy song...

"I'm through with standing in line to clubs we'll never get in
It's like the bottom of the ninth and I'm never gonna win
This life hasn't turned out quite the way I want it to be

(Tell me what you want)
I want a brand new house on an episode of Cribs
And a bathroom I can play baseball in
And a king size tub big enough for ten plus me

(So what you need?)
I'll need a credit card that's got no limit
And a big black jet with a bedroom in it
Gonna join the mile high club at thirty-seven thousand feet

(Been there, done that)
I want a new tour bus full of old guitars
My own star on Hollywood Boulevard
Somewhere between Cher and James Dean is fine for me

(So how you gonna do it?)
I'm gonna trade this life for fortune and fame
I'd even cut my hair and change my name

'Cause we all just wanna be big rockstars
And live in hilltop houses driving fifteen cars
The girls come easy and the drugs come cheap
We'll all stay skinny 'cause we just won't eat
And we'll hang out in the coolest bars In the VIP with the movie stars
Every good gold digger's gonna wind up there
Every Playboy bunny with her bleach blond hair
Hey hey I wanna be a rockstar"

Ok, for real... did you sing it? It's one of those that may very well be stuck in your head for a few days.

This is a little different than the original American Dream that went something like this: a nice, big house, 2 nice, new cars, 2 nice kids, a big TV, a comfy job where you have climbed the corporate ladder to (imagined) "security", a pretty wife who doesn't talk back or a husband who doesn't drink beer or hang out with "the boys" too much, a nice vacation or two every year. and of course, a really fat retirement account so we can retire @ 65 (or earlier) and "live the life" on a beach somewhere or in the mountains playing golf til we kick the bucket.
If you wanted a "Christian" version of this just throw in a nice church with lots of people like you who have a nice, big house & 2 new cars + a lot of time to spend with the family... maybe something like the wife not having a job and the husband making sure he spends lots of evenings with the kids.

Obviously I'm not saying any of that stuff is bad. And I'm not saying the new American Dream is any better or worse than the old or the "Christian" American Dream, but I am convinced that both "American Dreams" are wasting peoples' lives. I feel like the American Dream and the false hope & trust in imagined security and comfort that go along with it are trying their best to hijack the Missio Dei, the Mission of God. Thankfully, God's Mission cannot be hijacked, but the American Dream is taking a pretty good swing at it.

I really don't know what to do about it either. Maybe you can help me think of something. You can be sure that with God helping me I'm not gonna get sucked into it & let it waste my life. I'm only gonna waste my life for Jesus. If you ever see me veering into this wasted life/American Dream then I give you permission to call me on it. I'm gonna do all I can to protect my kids from this way of life that will waste their lives. And I guess I will promote the satisfaction that comes from politely (and not so politely) rebelling against this culture of consumerism we live in & living our lives for one Name. I guess that's a start.

1 comment:

Jacob said...

"Thankfully, God's Mission cannot be hijacked"