I must confess that lately America’s economic woes have got be feeling blue. It isn’t merely the cost of living going through the roof that has me worried, though that doesn’t exactly give me a case of the warm fuzzies. It’s when I ponder the economic situation my kids will face that keeps me up at night.

As a parent, you wish so many things for your children. I pray that they will be strong in their faith and make wise choices as well as have good health, loyal friends, and a faithful and loving spouse. I also wish them financial stability. The idea of my kids not being able to find a job after college is such a distressing thought, and I promise it has nothing (okay, little) to do with the accompanying idea of them living in our basement.

I think we are allowed to fear for the future of our offspring, but I have been trying to conform my thoughts (and fears) to the higher standard to which we are called as believers. What I am wishing for my children is not a comfort that we are guaranteed. God’s blessing in my children’s lives is not automatically accompanied with a hefty paycheck and retirement benefits.

Several years ago, I read the Lord of the Rings series and cried like a baby as Frodo fled the forces of evil in order to accomplish his given task. I cried because I am a total geek and become way to emotionally invested in fictional characters. But I also cried because of what Frodo represents. I remember thinking, “He represents the souls of my children, so small and vulnerable. And he is being hunted down by a darkness which seems indestructible.” The thought of those Dark Riders galloping after my babies seemed more than I could bear.

But now I am beginning to see that perhaps I have mislabeled the Dark Riders seeking to destroy future generations. It isn’t economic recession or lack of financial stability that should cause me the greatest concern. Rather it is moral recession and lack of spiritual stability which ought to leave me in tears. And perhaps the current state of things will present my children with a greater clarity, a deeper sense of the eternal than is present during times of great prosperity.

The Dark Riders of greed and comfort have become clearer to me and I see now that perhaps the American Dream I have wished for is in reality a potential nightmare. While I can’t say I am at the point of hoping for depression, I am at the point of seeing hope in the depression. Of seeing opportunities for greater good, for deepening and refining that is not possible under brighter circumstances.

I am rethinking my version of the American dream, basement living and all.

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