so many thoughts. i met a new friend through an old friend here at school tonight and i've just been thinking. i was sharing with him over coffee what i think about community and relationships, and he asked me if i thought it was even possible in the US. wow. i feel like it's possible to recreating God-fearing community here, but it would be downright hard. there are a number of christian communities like this in the states, i just wonder if i'm called toward something different. maybe not. maybe i'm supposed to stay here and serve and love the very people i feel frustrated with sometimes. our conversation tonight at my favorite south bend irish pub started me thinking once again about my future and what that looks like. it would be a tragedy for me to have experienced what i did in the Dominican and to turn around and pursue the American dream. that has nothing that i desire. i feel so dissatisfied right now. that's not to say that i'm not happy, that i'm not incredibly blessed or that i don't have beautiful relationships. i just wonder if there is something so much greater in this life than graduating from college and starting the career ladder. there has got to be more for me than that. i'm realizing that i serve a God who desires for me to dream big. so i'm dreaming big. my heart is open, all of my options are open, i feel that i have been created for something great. god, lead me.
i've been thinking a lot about that "American Dream" lately. timing is interesting becuase we are talking in my US History class right now about how the american people started to lose sight of that dream in the 70's with Vietnam and Richard Nixon, up until this day, in this economy where for some people there is no hope or sight of that dream any longer. i just wonder what that dream really is. i'll be quick to admit that i still catch myself wanting money, things, popularity and a lot of friends on facebook. i'm not saying any of this out of a spirit of judgement or from a different platform. i am so much in the midst of it. i'm just questioning the point of this "dream". i mean, is there even one thing about the american dream that is biblical? security? maybe. happiness? not usually. status? yes, but does that matter? there are just so many questions i have about whether my goal in life would be to go to church on sundays but on monday join in on the rat race where there are winners and losers, and people who are left behind with hungry kids and cold fingers. i don't think king david, a man who is said to have been a man after God's own heart, wanted to have a new volkswagon or the biggest house on the block, complete with in-ground swimming pool and an environmentally friendly heating/cooling system. so why should i? i don't buy into the idea that the times have changed and that the american dream is the new normal or what God desires for us. i learned in the Dominican that i am not called to a life of comfort. why do i get to be comfortable when others are cold and hungry? because i'm white? becuase i'm an american? i thank God that i was blessed with these comforts, but i no longer require them.
i often ask myself that if God called me to leave everything and follow him, just as Jesus called the disciples in the New Testament. i'll be honest in saying that some days i feel like i would say yes, but most days i would hesitate, exposing my true heart. right now i'm finishing up Dorothy Day's autobiography. talk about a woman who left everything and followed God's calling in her life. now don't get all caught up in the fact that she was a Catholic or a political radical for a time, but think about her obedience, her commitment to her call. she only allowed herself a few years of her own life to 'live the dream', which she willingly gave up for her faith and her calling. reading about her life and her passion makes me feel like i just coast through life in a constant state of apathy. what was hers she gave away, welcoming others into her home, starting a movement which still to this day aides the poor and homeless in America. what a beautiful legacy. a legacy becuase she was obedient and did not allow her desire for comfort to get in the way of the vision that God placed on her heart. God, give my courage like hers to do the things you call me to do.