Monday, September 27, 2010

I Never Used Be A Fighter. But, Now...

I have a confession to make; I’m not a fighter. I’ve never really been in a fight, except once when I was around 8 years old. My combatant was pretty tough. She pretty much kicked my butt. Needless to say, I realized pretty early on that God didn’t wire me for physical combat. I’m ok with that. I trust that if there is ever a need for physical confrontation that I will immediately receive the strength, agility and intellect similar to that of a little shepherd boy named David.

Unfortunately, I have not been a fighter in other areas of my life. A couple of weekends ago, I made a decision to no longer be a passive bystander. I’m not going to take life as it comes without fighting for destiny. I have big dreams, but they won’t come to pass without effort, i.e. without a fight. I no longer want to just exist. I want to live a purpose driven life.

What has been my inspiration? One word…September 11, 2001. (Ok, not sure if that’s one word or not, but you get the idea.)

Recently was the 9th year since one of the most tragically memorable dates in American history. My wife and I watched a number of television programs and documentaries detailing this terrible date in history in which 2,982 Americans were tragically killed by enemies of the American Dream.

Why so much hatred for America? In my estimation, it is because of the American Dream.

James Truslow Adams wrote a book, The Epic of America in 1931, and coined the expression The American Dream. Basically, the expression conveys the idea that America is the “land of the free”, and ideally gives each citizen the freedom to pursue “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness”. In other words, in America, you and I have opportunity to utilize the God given gifts and talents we possess in order to be happy, while making a positive impact on our country. (That’s why there are so many immigrants from other countries; they are pursuing the American Dream.) Enemies of America are usually from countries without the liberty and opportunity afforded to American citizens. Women in these countries are not given the same rights as men. Unwanted children are aborted according to state laws and not according to citizen’s choices. Men and woman are limited in the vocations they can pursue. In other words, they do not have freedom of choice. (I’m referring to limitations mandated by government entities, as opposed to social restrictions which do exist in America.)

What’s my point? It is this…I believe that with great power (or liberties) comes great responsibility. (I think some great philosopher came up with that expression. Wasn't it Spiderman's uncle?) I believe every American has the responsibility to pursue the God given American Dream intended for him or her.

Our founding fathers pursued emancipation from a tyrannical European government. President Lincoln pursued freedom for slaves. Martin Luther King Junior fought for the civil rights of all people groups. Carrie Underwood fought her small town fear and insecurity, and drove to St. Louis to become an American Idol. They each had a vision, a dream, and fought to see their dreams realized.

What is your struggle? Your struggle may not be to change laws, or cultures, or to become a celebrity. It may be to become a husband, wife, or parent. It may be to become a teacher; a musician; an artist. Or, it may be to become President. Whatever it is, it won’t happen for you and me without a fight. In fact, what reward actually exists without a struggle?

I believe America wants, and needs me to fight. Nearly 3,000 died on 9/11/01, and lost their opportunity to pursue the American Dream to the fullest. Enemies of America stole their opportunity to fully pursue the American Dream. I'm going to fight those terrorists by no longer relinquishing my own right to pursue the American Dream, whatever that includes for me.

One disclaimer; God has a plan for every human being, and for most it does not include living in America. My point is that America offers more "opportunity" in terms of social, civil, and general liberties than any other country, and it's our responsibility to utilize our liberties to the fullest.

In my next post, I will explain how I, a 6’1”, 165 pound man plans on becoming a lean, mean fighting machine. (Hey, Abraham Lincoln was 6’4” and 185 pounds, so I think there’s hope for me. Plus, I'm better looking than he was!)

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