The American dream is delicious...tastes like a pumpkin spice latte. We’ve been sipping on it for the last several months and I have to say, “Very satisfying.” I knew I had eaten a full course of the American dream when I found myself, on a Saturday, driving to my kid’s soccer game in my swagger wagon (gifted by my mom), with my chocolate lab in tow (gifted by Mark’s mom), and a pumpkin spice latte in my hand. I was living out the pinnacle of American motherhood in that very moment.
Upon arrival, I took in the sights and sounds of American suburbia. Mark and I situated ourselves and our youngest two daughters on the sideline. While we sipped coffee and watched the girls warmup for the game, Mark turned to me and said, “I like the suburbs. Life is just so easy here.”
“Uh-huh,” I said while chuckling. “Me too.”
We have been settled into life in suburban Denver for most of the last five months. Mark’s stepdad has been excessively generous, allowing us to live with him in his big, beautiful home on a cul-de-sac. We’ve got bikes, the mall, Target (need I say more?), organized sports for the first time ever, the library, the neighbor kids, a yard for the dog, and sweet, suburban peace every night.
I am satisfied. Shallow, yes. And satisfied.
I am guilty of John Piper’s accusation that many American Christians are far too easily satisfied. I am content with the ease, comfort, and safety here. I can see why people pursue it their entire lives. Like many, I am satisfied by what the world gives me now, rather than pursuing the richer, tastier rewards of heaven (which are granted both now and later).
The bible is full of promises to reward those who follow Jesus. God is eager to satisfy us with the richest of blessings. He asks us, “Why spend money on what is not bread, and your labor on what does not satisfy? Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good, and you will delight in the richest of fare” (Isaiah 55:2). When we live out the gospel--loving the Lord with all our strength and loving our neighbor as ourselves (Matthew 22:37-39), Jesus says He will reward us (Luke 6:35 and Luke 14:12-14).
I have to fight to remember that the American dream is not the richest of fare. Pumpkin spice lattes, kids‘ soccer games, and rollin in my swagger wagon with my lab are pretty tasty, but the richest of fare comes from God’s table alone. It is found in abiding in Him (John 15) and having faith in Him (Hebrews 11:6).
It IS in fact possible to eat the Lord’s rich fare and deny the world’s cheap substitute while living in the suburbs. Your and my addresses aren’t the issue--our hearts are. We can seek first the kingdom from any location. We can take terrifying steps of faithfulness from any neighborhood. We can resist the less-tasty buffet! We can and must mature our palettes for our good and His glory if we are to be truly satisfied.