Thursday, September 1, 2011

The American Dream. Heaven On Earth?

I read an article on world news about social security and viewing retirement from a christian worldview  There was a quote by John Piper that said, "we must reward ourselves now in this life for the long years of our labor." Retirement—playing, traveling, sleeping late—is "the world's substitute for heaven since the world does not believe there will be heaven beyond the grave."

This was in reference to retirement but I couldn't help but think I have run into this sin lately.  In my quest to be comfortable have I been trying to exchange the pleasures of a true heaven for earthly ones?  In my desire to have things look just right, taste well, to feel well, to make sure the children have experiences have I turned my heart away from God?  The trials of this world seem to mount up on my shoulders so quickly and I forget that trials are what this world is made of.  I will not be able to replicate what my perfect God has made for eternity in this fallen place, not only that I will lose the opportunity to glorify him.  Taking this thought a step further I realize that my children miss out on the opportunity to hunger for God when I pacify them with pleasures here. 

God's timing is amazing.  After going to the dentist this morning and spending way more money than I desired to, it was good to be reminded that trials are where I have the opportunity to "prove my mettle" as Oswald Chambers said.  God has provided for this and will continue to.  He does not promise a nicely decorated suburban home in keeping with everyone else I know.  He doesn't say that my days will be easy and that I will flawlessly mother, teach, mentor and submit.   I find myself challenged to remember and truly believe what he does say each day, that he will never leave me or forsake me, that he will provide all things, that he will work all things for His good.  It is really much easier to believe what the world says.

What a gift the Bible is in times of temptation and confusion.  My heart overflows with gratitude for truth and direction from His Word.  It would be easier to construct my own heaven here on earth without any concern for eternity.  But I've never been one to follow the crowd!  I can undoubtedly say that I hunger for heaven  more than the American Dream. 

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