“And they came unto the brook of Eshcol and cut down from thence a branch with one cluster of grapes, and they bare it between two upon a staff; and they brought of the pomegranates, and of the figs … And there we saw the giants, the sons of Anak, which come of the giants, and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight” (Numbers 13:23-33).
I am excited about achieving the American dream.
As we approach spring, many young people anxiously are awaiting graduation and entry into the adult world. They are excited about the possibility of becoming productive citizens in our world. But sadly, for too many the dream will become a nightmare.
I have often wondered why two people from the same socio-economic backgrounds could turn out so vastly different. Why does one achieve the dream and the other sink into a dark nightmare?
I want to share a few points that I believe will help make the American dream a reality. First, we must be able to see the grapes. The 12 spies who Moses sent to check out the promised land saw the grapes and recognized that they were good. We know that we live in the land of plenty and actually can see those who are living the dream. We have the promise of God that He will supply all of our needs, and that He is able to open up the windows of heaven.
Secondly, we must accept the fact that there are giants in the land. The 12 spies all agreed that there were giants in the promised land. The giants are indicative of the obstacles that one certainly will face on the way to success. We will not be able to achieve the American dream without working hard to overcome the giants that will stand in our way.
Is your dream worth your investing your hard work and tears? My friend, you either can forget about the grapes because of the giants, or you can go for the grapes in spite of the giants.
Finally, in the above text, 10 of the spies said we looked like grasshoppers to the giants and, in our minds, we were grasshoppers. It was on this point that the 12 spies disagreed. Two of them declared that we are able to possess the land. They believed this because they chose to focus on the grapes rather than the giants.
Perhaps the greatest thing we can tell young people as they pursue the American dream is “What you think of yourself is what you will become.” I encourage you to see yourself as God sees you and go for your dream. Do not allow the real giants or the imaginary grasshoppers stop you from getting the sweet grapes.
Scott is the pastor of Baconton Missionary Baptist Church and vice president of the United Ministerial Alliance.