Saturday, October 11, 2008
Grieving the dashing of the American Dream
This has been a shocking two weeks. At first I denied what was happening, then I got angry at what was happening, and now I am dealing with the reality of what happened.
We consistently placed what meager extra money we had in mutual funds invested in many companies in the American Stock Market, believing as we had been told that this was the best way to get money from the present to the future to prepare for retirement. Now we find the sad truth that hedge fund managers have crept into the American Dream and and turned it into a very high stakes gambling operation. Laura and I are grieving, and it has been painful.
Because we are Christians we have of course been asking ourselves what God is up too in allowing this to happen at this time. Many resort to the time honored prophetic hope....Come Lord Jesus....and echo His soon coming rescue. My problem with that is that I have studied the scriptures and feel with all gentle sincerity, that this is not a rescue rapture scenario. This is a deal with it, scenario.
My job causes me to descend into the valley of the shadow of death with families. This week I sat near the casket of a man who had a full rich loving life, and for the final two years was dibilitated with a stroke which brought a dependence that I know he hated. It was a long and difficult two years for him and his family.
Are we in America and the rest of the world faced with a long and debilitating struggle? The valley of the shadow of death is real, and it is scary and dark and sometimes very hopeless and painful. Will the death of the American dream be that way?
I have worked, studied and and believed and taught that Jesus Christ and the Gospel take away the fear of death, and know I must work, study and believe that the presence of God in Christ can really transform my moment to moment response to the grief of the loss of security, the loss of trust in government and financial institutions. Which is it? Maranatha? or Deal with it?