When we lived in New York State, I think we had the best garbage guys ever. They were a ragtag crew of two, operating in an old, way past its prime, shouldn’t be on the road, kind of garbage truck. On our garbage day (Thursday if I remember correct) we never knew what time they would arrive. It could be 8 in the morning or it could be 8 in the night. But they were nice guys and even seemed to find joy in their work.
I will never forget one day when they arrived (yet again at a random time), I yelled out across the yard, “How are ya?” The head guy yelled back, “Just living the dream, man, just living the dream.” I have to admit, I was I little surprised by what I heard. I have nothing against garbage guys – they fulfill an important role in society and its noble work – but in my mind, this line of work isn’t exactly “living the dream.”
I believe that man was sincere. I don’t think he was pulling my leg. And I love his perspective and outlook on life. His words reminded me of what the apostle Paul wrote in Philippians 4:11-13. “I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound…..I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” As you probably know, Paul suffered greatly at times during his ministry. But no matter what the circumstances, Paul could be content because he had learned contentment as a servant of Christ.
For just a few moments, consider your own life. Think about all you have…..your job, your family, your possessions, your community. Safe to say, God has blessed you…..big time! And if you are a Christian, you are infinitely more blessed because of what God has done for you in Christ. Truly, you are “living the dream.” What is so cool is that it only gets better for the Christian. As opposed to those who advocate a “Your best life now” kind of prosperity theology, the true Christian lives with the hope of an infinitely better life in heaven.
We live in a world that is filled with people who have it all, materially speaking, but they have little joy and contentment in life. Their souls are empty and hollow and they carry out a sad, sorry existence, never living for anything bigger than themselves. Contrast them with those who have been “born again to a living hope” (1 Peter 1:3). Contrast them with those who are living the “abundant life” (John 10:10) that is only found in Christ. Contrast them with those who have their “names written in the book of life.”
You tell me….who is living the dream?