This is not just an American thing, though I think we as a country have perfected this mind set, this is a human thing. A desire to always be improving the quality of our living. If you are a Christian you could say a desire to return to the Garden of Eden and the peace and ease of life that is portrayed as normal before Adam and Eve were banished and told to struggle with the earth and fight against the animals. Before Cain introduced killing and human warfare.
I doubt that much of what I have said is surprising, and Paul said that all should “eat, drink, and be merry for tomorrow we die (“If there is not God”).” Herein, however, lies the rub, I do believe there is a God and I think that he also desires a return to the Garden, but I think he knows that to do so more is required than just for each individual to pursue as much of the good life as they can get a hold of. God, in the form of Jesus, even said that “to be first we must be last, and to be greatest you have to be a servant of all.” The path that is already paved and heading to the Garden is not one of ease and pursuit of happiness; it is one of service to others and the realization that personal ease does not lead to peace. On this Palm Sunday with Easter only a week away lets remember that Jesus was killed for the political and religious statement of loving people who society said should not be loved. This is not an easy gig, but it is gig many have claimed, though fewer have actually followed.
As Liz and I have explored our vocation in the context of living in Africa we feel there is much service to be done and hopefully even some peace to be found. As we have announced to family and friends that we plan on coming back to the states for a short time (May – August), but then returning for a year the responses have been mixed. Some happy, some amazed, and some concerned for our plans and future. We are returning not for the fun, the enjoyment, or the ease of life, though there are times of all of that here. We are returning because of what we feel like we can do for others and because of the great amount our creator did for us.
Please do not worry for us and even strive yourself to find the path to the Garden. It is not an easy path, but the glimpses of the end are all the more sweet because of what you do on the hike there.