Today, I’m laying down the American Dream. And when I say I’m laying it down, I really hope that I mean I’m not even going to apply elements of the American Dream craft to wherever the path is leading forward.
I resign and admit that I cannot see where I’m headed anywhere further than resignation. I mean that I haven’t any other plan, but resigning. I haven’t much understanding of the clues to what lies beyond. I haven’t really ever had much understanding of the clues that foretells what lies in tomorrow. No one could have told me I’d be where I am today based on what I knew then or even knew yesterday. It’s beyond human logic.
I’m going to place all of my trust into the life raft. I am going to come to believe that it will hold up where the ship is failing. Actually, this decision to surrender the American Dream may indicate the restoration is already in process. That would be great if that’s true, because this has been one long road. Looking back, it seems I’ve been spinning on this road since I sold my first lemonade on the corner…maybe since the second day in the crib.
I don’t know how to live life differently, yet I just know that I can’t keep living life the same. I just know that I can’t keep placing bets on black and watching the wheel turn up red or betting red to see it turn black. I go short, it goes long. I go long, it turns short. I pick the favorites and the underdogs win every game. I start to like the dogs and the favorites give them a pasting.
I’m going to surrender the will of my life over to the care of God. He’s either got me or He doesn’t. One thing is just really clear and certain today, “I don’t got me and you don’t got me”. The collapse is imminent without a change.
There is a lot of fear here. My sense is that the American Dream is an illusion that I’ve bought hook, line, and sinker…..and I’m sinkering faster and faster.
But, what’s the dream now? Don’t you perish if you have no vision? Where can one turn when even the purveyors of antithesis seem caught in the trap?
It really seems that everyone is selling their expertise in this nothingness direction and then flipping to the other side of the counter to soak it up.
How can the whole world really be driven by inked up pieces of paper that some group of guys sit around and print when things get tight? If we’re not driven by this root, why do we get so tight when the paper stops passing around? If we’re not driven by this root, why do we celebrate every economic uptick and mourn every downturn? If we’re not driven by this root, why is the American Dream even alluring?
Are our American Dreams just a blind slavish pursuit to find security in kindling? Or, is our pursuit to find security in the leadership of our enslavement? Have any of us even been paying attention to their silliness? Is our pursuit just a craving to climb to the power position just above our fellow slaves? Is the strength of our American Dreams so weak that we relinquish all authority to finely carved slivers of wood with paint on them and to those who distribute the false idols?
Now some say, “Oh, we are not caught in this trap. Our cause is bigger. However, if you would be so kind as to contribute to the capital campaign, there is a small crisis in the treasury. We need to get bigger so people may see that we’re different.” Huh?
Here’s the thing: I confess – I’m guilty as charged.
I undertook this cause of slavery early on. It just looked so shiny and sleek. It just looked so real. I really believed that if I just had a few pieces of the wood, I could make a difference. I don’t really know the answer to whether the American Dream captured me by “nature” or “nurture”, but I know I caught wind of the vision somewhere very early along the way and I’ve been running after it ever since.
Like an alcoholic, even when I don’t want to run after the dream, I do. I can no longer live with the vision and I can’t for the life of me figure out how to live without it.
Every time I catch a glimpse of a different path, the first question that comes to mind is, “How does it pay for itself?” This question is such a nag and drag. It demands to be answered. So, after much procrastination, the idea is run through multiple financial sustainability obstacles worthy of Harvard MBA status and then the plan is prepped for delivery to the various audiences. Excitement builds. It just might work. It just might work towards continuing the illusion that it just might work….pop!
Oops, I did it again….got lost in the game….I’m not that innocent.
What is it that I refuse to believe here? What is it that I refuse to accept? What is it that keeps me tied to resetting my own trap and building my own cell?
How can I accept that I’m dependent on God and come to find Him up to the task while I continue to subversively seek to maintain my independence? Apparently, I can’t.
I confess I’ve got a very “real” surrender problem. I’m scared to death to resign and I’m scared to death to keep playing. Is there a third way? Or, is the third way really just the “keep playing” way dressed up to pop? Are there really only two options? Do I have to give up this life to save it?
I confess – I’m becoming convinced that broad is the road that leads to destruction.
I confess – I’m kind of weak to enter the narrow gate.
Anymore, it’s not a fair excuse to say that I’m blind to the narrow gate. I see it there. Perhaps, I’m lame?
I’m so tired of being sick and tired all the while playing hard for my own destruction. I’m the problem. I lack faith in the solution. Please grant me faith and strength to take the early pass on this way of life that I may save it. Please lead me through the narrow gate and allow me the exit off this broad highway. Please allow me to trade in my yoke and move forward behind the lead.
It came to me. I know why I’m holding back. I remember that time you didn’t deliver what I wanted and I’m quite sure I needed. I remember that time my family lacked and struggled and we prayed, but nothing happened. Were you not in it? Or, were you asking us to accept that you were and the answer was, “No”?
I recognize this series of questions. It was the last time that I challenged you on how you perform your ways. And yes, I remember that your answer was to point to my challenge as the indicator of my problem, my “surrender” problem. I remember that you pointed me to see that I couldn’t very well come to know and accept God if I was busy playing God.
Yes, I see that I prayed at that time to see an expected outcome and it was not a surrender to come and follow regardless of the outcome.
Yes, I see that I tried to manipulate you like a genie.
Yes, I see that my fear to follow you and not get what I want is still great.
True, I’m not getting what I want by not following either.
True, I have gotten what I wanted at times and it wasn’t good for me.
True, God probably does know what is better for me than I do for myself. In particular, given my current state and predicament, it is easier to see that I’m not very good at choosing what’s best for me.
I apologize for bringing that back up. You know how my mind doesn’t work at times.
I’m just flat scared.
It seems that no one that I talk to and share this story is seeing it the way that it appears you’re showing us. They are telling us that Your Kingdom is the fuel for the American Dream. They are telling us that Your Kingdom is the foundation for the American Dream. They are telling us that Your Kingdom is on a partnering mission to rebuild the halls of the American Dream and that we are to stay employed to this task. And if we’re not hearing them correctly, which you know us to be deaf at times, they’re at a minimum demonstrating that we must run parallel tracks with American Dream and Kingdom Dream tires.
Isn’t this the epitome of the very first mistake? Isn’t this what led to the demise in the first place? Isn’t the man dream building on top of perfection what set this chain of events into motion? And as for staying employed to this task, isn’t the plan to take us off the sinking ship? Are we to keep patching it and funding it and working for it up to the point that the ship is at bottom depths? Or, are we to get off soon and start swimming a ways and maybe a few others may see us and join in?
Again, I’m just flat scared. I know you’ve answered these questions before and I know that you reveal them to us over and over again in the story. But, we’re going to look like fools not following the drowning crowds self-anchored to the decks.
Okay, here we go. Jumping in. Where to next? Tahiti, Bora Bora, the mountains? Really…back to the ship?