I believe we can keep the promise of our founders, the idea that if you are willing to work hard, it doesn’t matter who you are or where you come from or what you look like or where you love. It doesn’t matter whether you are black or white or Hispanic or Asian or young or old or rich or poor, able, disabled, gay or straight, you can make it here in America if you are willing to try. –Barak Obama
I heard this snippet on President Barak Obama’s acceptance speech on MPR on my way into work this morning. I was surprised to feel a tear welling up in the corner of my eye and how much emotion was stirring in me just in listening to these few words passionately spoken. Yes, I am a little sleep deprived this momrning which always makes me more on edge emotionally, but this was something more. It connected to me deeply. This is what I believe. This is what I want for all people. And for me it is not just the American dream. It is the God dream.
This past weekend I was on a TEC (Teens Encounter Christ) weekend as a spiritual director. My talk to the youth centered on John 3:16…that God loved the world…the whole world…not just the rich or not just the poor, not just the successful or the educated, not just the whites or the blacks, but the whole world…and God love was given for one fundamental purpose…that we would live. That we would ALL live. I wanted them to know, no matter what, they were included, they were loved, they have a future with hope, and whatever and however they feel like their situatuon or life has been shaped or defined up to this point, God was not done. It could be more.
Isn’t that the basic hope of each person. To know we matter. To feel like we have a chance. And to be able to make a life: a life where there is joy and meaning and purpose. And for too many people there are too many barriers put in their way, too many judgments made about who they are and where they have come from. It is not right. It is not American. And it is not Christian. We are better than that.
So today, I pray for our country. I pray that we might be more than we have been. I pray that I will do what I can today, tomorrow and the next day, to help create the kind of communiy and country where all people really do have the opportunity to make it if they are willing to try. Today, I will once again stake my life in the proclamation of John 3:16, that yes, I am loved, and so is every other person on this earth, and therefore, my life is inextricably bound with theirs.
Some pundits say that in this election millions of dollars was spent and nothing was fundamentally changed. We will have four more years of gridlock. Perhpas. But something got changed in me this morning. And Imaybe, just maybe, that is the change that matters most It is where the American dream will rise or fall: in each of us, in what we choose to believe to be true and how we commit to act on those beliefs. ..