Scheduling the American Dream

Daily Schedule: Wake, shower, and commute to work from the suburbs before the kids are even out of bed.  Work on projects, field calls, and prepare presentations until I realize that the day is over and my wife is calling me about what time to have dinner on the table.  Pull in the driveway a little after 6 pm to be greeted by 4 children and a wife eager to see me and share about the events of their respective days.  Enjoy a home-cooked meal and the remaining 90 minutes of family time before putting the kids to bed around 8:30 pm.  Relax, catch up on the day’s events, while preparing for tomorrow’s, before drifting off to sleep knowing the bills have been paid and my family is being provided for…

Sounds like my personal slice of the American Dream, eh?

The truth is, from the outside looking in, my life appears to have met the requirements of this so-called American Dream: home in the suburbs, a satisfying, well-paying job, a wife and children.  Perhaps four children is too many to qualify for the American Dream, but we have foregone the dog and cat for the time being (which sort of evens it out).  The schedule listed above could be classified as a typical outline of my days for the frist half of 2011, and truthfully, there has not be a lot for me to complain about.  Life “looks good” to the eyes of men.   

There is nothing inherently evil with the aspects of the so-called American Dream which are present in my life (job, home, wife, kids).  In fact, I contend they are all worthwhile and profitable endeavors.  However, as a Christian man, is the American Dream what I should ultimately be striving to accomplish?  The answer should be “no”, but for whatever reason this has become the benchmark for success in our society today.  As with everything else in our society, the goals of the American Dream are short-sighted.  Politicians make decisions based on what will make them more electable for their next term.  Football programs bend and break rules to land the prized recruit who will lead them to glory for his four years of eligibility.  The list of examples could go on forever.  We are stuck in a world obsessed with instant gratification.  At the root of instant gratification screams the desires of the selfish, sinful nature.  There is no eternal outlook.

What if my schedule was evaluated for its impact on heavenly / eternal things?  How would it stack up?  Would it meet the litmus test?  Granted, there are things of eternal impact that did take place throughout the day of the schedule listed above.  However, the evidence would suggest that I was scheduling the American Dream, and not a heavenly minded reality.

Lord God, help me to approach each day with a heavenly minded, eternal outlook, instead of seeking the securities of the American Dream.  Lead me as I lead my family in seeking the fullness of Your being and satisfaction in the fullness of Your presence.