The ideal life that individuals personally pursue is changing. This isn’t a new concept. As you look toward your future and dream of college, a family and career, your dreams are quickly being squashed by the reality of college expenses, a bad economy, online dating and increasing divorce rates. These realities are daunting and they look very different from the one time “Leave it to Beaver” fantasy. Due to these factors, as well as the infiltration of increased technology and social media, the dream has begun to change.
Now, students are aspiring for fortune and fame, which honestly seems easier to acquire than the aforementioned college degree, career and family. Certainly there has always been an underlining hope or desire for stardom, but even the definition of celebrity has changed. People used to pursue fortune in the “American Dream” and fame through Hollywood or the music industry. Now, we’re looking for popularity in Facebook shares and Instagram likes and stardom in YouTube views.
This shift means that we’re moving away from an ideal life centered around community, family, morals, values, ethics and religious faith. Rather, we’re pursuing an ideal life around self-promotion, personal ambition, pride and individualism. Americans are now more likely to dream about making and spending money and achieving recognition, rather than dreaming about a vast idea in which only a great God could place upon their hearts. This means that not only are the concepts of the Bible becoming harder to understand, they’re becoming entirely irrelevant. Teachings and perceptions that have been a central element of life for thousands of years have become insignificant within ten years.
The Bible, Jesus and church aren’t suddenly inapplicable; it’s our society that has changed so drastically that we’ve chosen to see these sacred materials as obsolete. When we lose track of the importance and relevance of these teachings we lose hope and faith. The shift that has occurred is a sign that we’re living in days of faithlessness and hopelessness.
So, when we feel hopeless and lost in the “ways of the world,” we must look to the ideals God has instilled deep within our heart, even if they seem old fashioned. Psalm 31: 24 says, “Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the Lord.” As our society continues to change, it will be more and more difficult to center our hope and our future on the Lord, but He will give us the necessary strength to bring us back to His teachings and views.
We must call upon our family to remind us of who we are. We must continue to strive for greatness in our education because God made each of us intelligent and beautiful in our own unique way. We must pursue a dream that is beyond us so we can see God’s provision and glory. God will always guide us closer to Him. He will not give up on our dream. We must not give up on Him. “Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long.” (Psalm 25:5)
In order to regain the essentials of faith and hope, we must keep our eyes on the Lord. We must continue to seek Him, even when He seems obsolete. He has been the one constant over years and years, so He must always be the center of our hope. Our hope must not come from our own ambition and expectation, for we will be disappointed. But, our hope must come from Him. He is the one who has great things planned for our life and He wants to guide us into that realization. Jeremiah 29:11 says, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” God wants to give you hope for something great and wonderful. Hold on to that hope and hold on to Him.