I had been wrestling with the idea of blogging some of my life experiences with the intent of encouraging others who may be going through similar situations. Although the main audience being those who have been attending church for a long time and are caught in the cycle of just "doing church", I believe these stories will reach all audiences with God's help.

I'd rather fail miserably at something I feel God asked me to do than just sit back and wonder what could've, would've or should've happened.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Living The Dream

I'm sitting in the dealership thinking to myself, "why didn't I have a better answer for him? My life is better than that..." You see my ex-coworker came up to me with his little arrogant smile and asked, "how's it going, Ish?" I replied, "good". To which he replied "that's it?" and I had nothing! Did he catch me off guard? Was I not in the mood for conversations? I don't know what happened but the words escaped me.

Of course his reply is always an arrogant, "GREAT! I'm living the dream!!!!!" (dude if you happen to be reading this I won't tell who you are if you won't - keep reading though!)

What does that even mean? Who's "dream" are we living? Is it the infamous "American Dream" with the wife, 2.5 kids, a dog, a cat, 2 cars, a white picket fenced house, the pursuit of happiness and success/status? Or is it bigger than that? 

There is this perception of living the "world's" dream - usually involves possessions, success, money, power or influence, and "happiness". All of these things are great to have - wouldn't you agree? But that can't be all there is to life. How do I know?? I'm glad you asked! Well there are many people that have these things and yet they are not happy - some even commit suicide!! 

Besides, there is an after life that does not include any of that stuff - heaven or hell. So living this dream would be living limited to this world. I believe God has bigger dreams than this. 

Here's my take on this dream thing:
  • Hope - God is our hope. This is the foundation of His Dream for us. There is a "space" in all of us that can only be fulfilled with God. He made us this way...PURPOSELY! But we try to fill it with other things such as: work, love of money, drugs, alcohol, sexual sin, etc. 
    We need to stay connected to this Hope to keep His dream alive in us. "I depend on God alone; I put my hope in him." (Psalm 62:5 GNT)
  • Family - united in: spirit, love, peace, joy, supporting each other, serving each other and God. This includes extended family, also. If the family is healthy, the church is healthy, the community is healthy and the world is healthy. "but as for me and my house, we will serve The Lord" (Joshua 24:15 AMP)
  • Community - this part includes the church. We are made to belong to a body. This is where we find additional support and we use our God-given gifts to serve others. "He makes the whole body fit together perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love." (Ephesians 4:16 NLT)
  • Joy - there is a difference between happiness and joy. Happiness = a state of being happy or contentment. Joy = a metaphoric oasis of peace and love (as defined in wiki).  The Bible repeatedly talks about the joy of The Lord. When you have this joy you don't wait for the circumstances around you to be positive but inspite of the circumstances you have joy. "You love him, although you have not seen him, and you believe in him, although you do not now see him. So you rejoice with a great and glorious joy which words cannot express," (1 Peter 1:8 GNT) 
Interestingly enough, I watched this documentary yesterday that my sister-in-law suggested (thanks Kim) and it spoke about similar concepts. The documentary was about a bunch of doctors studying happiness and they found that people are happier when they believe in something and have strong family and community activities. I wrote this blog before I saw this documentary. Things that make you go hmmm! 

So getting back to my ex-coworker with his "living the dream" phrase... If I have the opportunity to redeem myself, I would say, "I have hope...THE HOPE ... Jesus my Savior! He has given me His unexplainable JOY. I have a beautiful, loving, united FAMILY that loves God and people. We BELONG to an awesome church COMMUNITY and are CONNECTED as we SERVE unto The Lord! 

The thief comes only in order to steal, kill, and destroy. I have come in order that you might have life—life in all its fullness. (John 10:10 GNT)

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