"I'm trading the American dream for the Kingdom of God."
And I've been unable to get that thought out of my head. Matt and I are certainly not living the "American dream" but it was always a nice idea in the back of my head. Now, however after prayer, reading the Bible and just good old thinking I've decided the American dream is just not for me! Having a big house, 2.4 (how do you get slightly less than half a child I ask) children, new cars and lots of things just doesn't interest me anymore.
While I'd like to have a bigger house; it's not for the extra square footage and pretty rooms anymore but it's more space for more people. I've always wanted to be able to give my children a 'comfortable' life; not having them be spoiled but ensuring that they have the 'stuff' they 'need. Now I'm desperate for having Gabe (and his future siblings) store their treasures in heaven and not in their toy box.
I'm not entirely sure what John Piper is all about, but I dare you to watch this video and not be inspired.
Being born an orphan in Ethiopia, being traded as a sex slave in Rwanda or starving on the streets of Guam will not keep you out of heaven, but being rich... and loving your money will.
When Matt graduates with his MBA, I desire for him to find a job he loves that pays more than this one. But no matter how high of an income he ever makes, I can't see us living a lavish lifestyle. That's just not us.. we LOVE our 14 year old, 200+ mile Civic aptly named Pete, I can't fathom every wanting a really big TV or even an insanely large house (because I'd have to clean it, I'm way to obsessive-compulsive to let someone else do that!).
But we would be able to make a difference in a different way. Doing local missions is fabulous and it's one of our passions to get involved in our community but having the iincome to adopt as we feel called and not stress about where the money is coming from would be heavenly. To sponsor more children through World Vision, donate to more charities, go on missions trips to different cities and countries... that's what extra money would do for us.
If being rich would keep me out of heaven... I'll keep my 3-bedroom house and cram it full of all the children, love and laughter it can hold. I'll drive 8 or 14 year old cars, forgo manicures and cable to save a little money, make a little bit of a difference and not forget who I am.
Money doesn't close the door to heaven, loving it does. But when you look in the news, it seems that so many of the 'rich and famous' forget about what they can do with their wealth and become infatuated with their status.
So this is it, American dream no more... my dream is different, bigger, better... and oh so worth it!
Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it. Proverbs 22:6