An old classmate of mine sent me a video of our 6th grade class doing a production of “The Wizard of Oz.” I remember doing it, but I don’t remember being in it. I do remember, however, wishing dearly to be Dorothy. But, no such luck. The role went to a willowy female classmate who wasn’t nearly as shy and dumpy as I was. My good friend and neighbor, Trish, was the Tinman. Close, but no cigar.
If wishes were horses…
I’ve been thinking about wishes lately. I used to wish to be taller – like about 2 inches. And that I had blue eyes and blonde hair, like my stepsister. I used to also wish my parents would get back together. That was a very long time ago and my dad remarried in 1983, so that’s out. I used to wish my high school crush would take one look at me across the crowded classroom where we sat in a discussion circle for American Studies and proclaim, “Susan! There you are! Where have you been all my life? Would you go to prom with me?” And he would get up and sit by me in every other class we had together (which were many) forever, until we graduated. Amen.
Alas and alack, none of those things happened.
As an adult, I wished to get promoted out of being a P.A. at IDC. It was backbreaking, soul-numbing grunt work. I even considered CAD (computer-aided drafting) training. But I knew that spatial skills were not in my DNA and I had no drawing skills to speak of, should I consider pursuing architecture. I wished to get into the Oregon Symphony and I looked into that but should have attended conservatory or at least played 90% of the repertoire mailed to me on two double-sided pages in 5-point type. I think I had played 3 songs out of 50. It was not a case of “fortune favoring the prepared”.
…then beggars would ride.
I’ve heard “Be careful what you wish for, cause you just might get it.” Yes. Very true. Like when I wished to live on the Oregon Coast when Jonathon was looking for his first teaching gig. He asked me – Castle Rock (remote Washington), Boardman (eastern Oregon near the nerve gas center) or Oregon coast (Reedsport)? The spot we got? Reedsport. It was a rainy, tiny, mill and fishing town full of people hiding out. I was lonely and bored most of the time we lived there; we never fit in. This could have been due to our lack of pickup truck, large dog and flannel in our wardrobes. We made some good friends but I never want to live on the coast again, unless it’s in California or Hawaii. Too rainy and isolated.
Wishes are prayers in a different coat. Sometimes we wish so hard we don’t even know we’ve prayed instead. I wanted a baby so badly. I did pray and wish and dream and eventually, we got Zac. Then I asked specifically for a little girl, though I would have been happy with whatever we got. We got Ruby and our family was complete. It hasn’t always been hearts and flowers, this parenting gig, but it’s worth it, watching these amazing people grow up and walk confidently into their futures.
Wishing and hoping and praying are all tied up with dreaming. Wishing for something is a longing. Hoping is looking forward with reasonable confidence. Dreaming is having an aspiration, goal or aim. Right now, we’re in the dreaming phase for Jonathon’s new job. Praying is specific asking of God who always has good in mind for us. Praying focuses the dreaming, wishing and hoping. I’ve been here before when we needed new cars. We sold one of our cars and the other, well, it didn’t run. Did I mention all of our cars up until this point were given to us by family members? We’d never purchased a car on our own. I bummed rides off my dad to get to the church office and others when the we got that great snowstorm in 2009. I felt like the Lord said, “Well, what do you want in a car?” I figured, why not? The Bible says “you have not because you ask not”. So I asked for an SUV (I hate minivans!), red, with 4-wheel drive, low mileage, less than 4 years old. I laid it all out. I fasted, too, because I wanted God to know if He didn’t come through, we were sunk. God provided all my wishes, prayers and dreams in my chili pepper red Saturn Vue. See, I had nothing to lose by asking. I had no car. All I had were wishes and prayers and dreams – and faith.
So, I’ve laid it all out before the Lord – what we need to maintain the house, etc., and what we’d like to be earning. We haven’t nailed down exactly what Jonathon would like to do, but we’re getting closer. Sometimes you have to almost get what you want to realize you don’t want it, like when I worked at that Scandinavian lumber import company as a temp. Yes, it was a job, but it stunk. Or Jonathon teaching choir in public school at his dream job, with plenty of parental support and a budget, too! But he was miserable. Mercifully and painfully, the district arts coordinator was gunning for his job and wanted him gone. Problem solved!
My point is that sometimes we get what we wished for and it’s the wrong thing. Sometimes when we ask and wish, we get exactly what we wanted. And sometimes, we get better than we deserve. But God is in all of it. He is the basis for our hoping and wishing, praying and dreaming. We ask and dream and hope in faith.
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Hebrews 11:1