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Be Careful What You Wish For

“I wish it was football season.”  “I wish I was 16 already.”  “I wish we could get a new (car, house, boat, etc.)”.  Seems that we all have lots of wishes from our youngest years and lots more in adult years.  As we age, our wishes are fewer in number (most of the time) and are frequently related to health issues and energy levels.

Nothing really wrong with “wishing” in and of itself.  It is one way that we express dreams, ambitions, and goals.  However, there is a disappointing side to our wishes coming true.  The satisfaction that earthly wishes bring are short-lived.  What we thought would make us really happy if we could just get “that one”, doesn’t give us an emotional “high” for very long.  It is a sad experience for the one that is never happy in the present because they are tormented.  They have a deep desire to be “somewhere else, with something else, and maybe, someone else”.   They hit the wall of reality that the “new whatever it is” soon becomes the routine and common.  And all too quickly, the latest “new” thing has faded as the next “want on the list of life’s desires” moves to dominate one’s focus. But, they are still in the delusion that the “next thing” will bring them true and lasting happiness.  Not so!  Only Jesus can fill the hole in one’s heart.

A pilot always looked down intently on a certain valley in the Appalachians. “What’s so interesting about that spot?” Asked a fellow pilot. “See that stream? Well, when I was a kid I used to sit down there on a log and fish. Every time an airplane flew over, I would look up and wish I were flying… Now I look down and wish I were fishing.”

That is pretty well the way it is, isn’t it?  Sometimes even though we do get what we want, we still can’t be satisfied. Everyone wants more. A little child wants more toys and more TV time; a teenager wants more clothes, more freedom, and more popularity. Most adults want more also; a nicer house, a newer car a better job, more prestige…..

And often we do get more – we get a new car and we are content….. for a while. We buy a new home – it’s the home of our dreams and we are content…..for a while. The job we always wanted comes knocking at our door – great pay, incredible benefits – and we are content…..for a while. One of God’s prophets wrote the following words to God’s people about 2,500 years ago, “You have planted much but have harvested little. You eat, but you do not become full. You drink, but you are still thirsty. You put on clothes, but you are not warm enough. You earn money, but then you lose it all as if you had put it into a purse full of holes…You expected much, but see, it turned out to be little.”  (Haggai 1:2-6).  (Copied).

It was this very kind of virus that has plagued men through the ages.  From kings to common men, the desire for acquisitions has been insatiable.   John, the beloved disciple of Jesus, wrote a warning to first century Christians…..

Do not love the world or the things in the world.  If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.  16 For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world.  17 And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.  (1 John 2:15-17).