Today in church The Bishop (that would be The Pastor’s pastor) talked about wishing. While The Bishop was talking about wishing, and how God wants us to bring Him even our wishes, I started to think of the Jiminy Cricket song. Sing along with me.
When you wish upon a star,
Makes no difference who you are,
Anything your heart desires
Will come to you.
…When you wish upon a star
Your dreams come true.
Now, some Christians are a bit too pious to wish. Their mantra is “Not my will, but thine be done”. This is a good phrase, and appropriate at some times. Some times we have to deny the things that we want for the greater good. The greater good being God’s will. This is a good thing. It is what Jesus did at the end of his life.
It is not what you are asked to do every day of your life.
First of all, I hate to break it to you, but you are not Jesus.
I know this may be a shock to you, but it’s true. Take a few deep breaths and try to adjust your paradigms a bit. We’ll give you a moment.
I have another shock for you.
Are you ready?
Not even Jesus’ life was a constant solemn chant. A lot of it was a pretty awesome road trip with His best friends. We just seem to get really hung up on that last day. A day Jesus would probably really like to forget, but like any annoying younger sibling, we need to keep bringing it up.
“Hey Jesus, remember that time you were tortured to death? Remember that? Remember that? Wasn’t that great?”
We somehow have developed this image of Jesus as the enforcer of an angry God as we timidly sing that God is a good good father. But if all we are expecting is punishment, do we really believe what we are singing? If that kind of a God were an actual father, Social Services would step in, the kids would all be in foster care, and God would be serving time.
God is not serving time.
God is time.
A truly good father wants their children to laugh. They want their children to excitedly ask for a trip to the park, and then take them to Disney Land. A good father knows how to give their child the world, without making them think they’re the center of it. Yet, somehow we think that the only way God can be good is if He’s angry all the time.
It’s when we get over the idea of an angry God that the cricket comes in.
Life is hard. Life can get so hard that we can barely breathe, much less wish. Sometimes the words of that cricket seem to be mocking us. How can we make a wish when everything is falling apart? How can our dreams come true when we’re just too exhausted from trying to survive to even have a dream. We don’t dare dream. We’ve been too let down by God to even wish, much less dream.
But we haven’t been let down by God.
We’ve been letting each other down. If we were to treat each other with half the love and compassion that we would like to be treated with, survival would be easy. If we were to simply shut our mouths and open our hands, without worrying about being taken advantage of or appearing weak, thriving would be a given for everyone.
Do you want to know who else is letting you down?
What would it take for you to be as kind to yourself as you want others to be to you? How far could you go if you believed in yourself enough to never give up? What if you believed in yourself enough to not even care what other people thought or said about you? If you were even a little bit better to yourself, you could go places you don’t even dare dream about. If you thought of yourself as only a tiny fraction of the amazing person that God sees you as, your flippant wishes would far surpass your current dreams.
So I’m going to give you a little challenge today. I dare you to be brave. I dare you to work up enough courage to go outside tonight. I dare you to look up and search out a star. Don’t worry if it’s actually an airplane, anything to get you to look up to the heavens! Then I dare you to make a simple wish. Whatever that small thing stirring in your stomach is, just release it to God.
And then open your heart.
Then, believe in a loving God enough to know that He actually is a good, good father. Believe in yourself enough to never give up. Believe that your dreams will come true. Probably not how you expect. Probably in some gloriously amazing way, and possibly with some very hard work. But the dare to wish is the start.
And I know you can do it.