What Happened to the Dream?
I love to listen to the local oldies station; it always takes me back to the ‘60's and my teen years. Remember those days? We all wanted peace and love, and thought we were on the path to finding them in those days. So what happened?
Seems to me that, in the rush to change “the way it is” we went a bit overboard. We got rid of the good with the bad – all for the sake of change. Instead of a moving forward to a better way, we’ve let our society slip lower and lower.
Did you march with Martin Luther King? So why are we still dealing with racial discord and deep racial divides?
Did you take part in a peace protest during the Viet Nam War? Why are we still seeing war break out all over the globe?
Did you lobby for Women’s Rights – the opportunity to work outside the home just like a man? Why do women now have to work outside their homes, whether they want to or not, so their family survives?
How about “free love”? Were you an advocate? Why are so many people still producing unwanted babies and broken homes? Why are so many children living outside the protection of a committed, loving home environment?
If so many of us shared the dreams, why couldn’t we make them happen? I think it’s because we tried to create change the wrong way. The only thing that could make all those long ago dreams come true is the thing we got rid of pretty early in the process: the Bible. Since God created the world and everything in it, only he holds all the answers to it’s problems.
It all begins with peace. The peace the Bible speaks of isn’t the absence of war, but rather it is peace with God. Since the days of Adam and Eve people have always felt the weight of guilt over the things they do wrong – and everyone does wrong things. We’ve stepped outside of God’s intentions for us and this world, and so we lack peace in our hearts.
God dealt with this issue when he sent Jesus to the earth. At that amazing birth, and angel told the amazed shepherds: “I bring you good tidings of great joy which shall be to all people...Glory to God in the Highest and on earth peace...” This was peace that comes from being forgiven, from unloading the weight of guilt we all carry. True peace produces the second objective: love.
As Jesus told his followers, all God’s commandments and laws could be distilled into 2: love God with your entire being, and love your neighbor as yourself. Since he also made it clear that everyone is our neighbor, following these 2 commands would end war, suffering and injustice everywhere. If everyone was looking out for every one else, there would be no time for conflict!
So don’t despair – the dream is still there and is still attainable. We just have to accept the only road to get there.