Don’t Wish Your Life Away – Theology Essay
If you were given three personal wishes that would be certain to come true, what would they be? Some people are big on wishing. They throw coins in a fountain or wishing well, vie for the wishbone of the turkey, regularly thumb through their favorite wish book, religiously blow out all the candles of their birthday cake, and some dreamily wish upon a star.
Sadly, most people’s wishes end in disappointment, regret, or resignation.
The New Oxford American Dictionary defines “wish” as “feel or express strong desire or hope for something that is not easily attainable; want something that cannot or probably will not happen . . . silently invoke such a hope or desire”. Perhaps you have heard phrases such as: “If wishes were horses, beggars would ride”. For many a wish is a desire that they don’t’ really expect to be filled. Some want a magic wand to bring about their wish without any effort or change on their part.
My friend, Bill, got my attention the other day. While talking with some friends, Jenny mentioned that it seemed like Friday to her, even though it was only Tuesday. I remarked, “I wish it was Friday!” Bill quickly responded, “Don’t wish your life away, time goes fast enough!” I believe he was right. We miss so much because we don’t live or utilize the present. Simply wishing will waste energy and opportunities we have now. Wishing alone will not take us to our goals or desires. Someone has said, “It takes as much energy to wish as it does to change.” Some people never reach their goals because they wish their life away or sleep it away.
How can we turn our wishes into passionate wants and passionate wants into winning ways?
First – PRAY, DELIGHTING IN THE LORD. When you make God your utmost delight, your disorder becomes ordered, your confusion will become peacefully clear, and discord – harmony. When one is out of sync with God, they tend to wander in circles. After deliverance from Egypt, it took 40 years for the Israelites to get to the Promised Land. What was the problem? They were out of “sync” with God. (See I Corinthians 10:1-13.) David tells us, “Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord; trust also in Him, and He will do it” (Psalm 37:4). Gordon McDonald in his book Ordering Your Private World directs us to this priority. Pray for God’s will and purpose for your life. (See Jeremiah 29:11-12 and Matthew 6:33.)
Second – PASSIONATE DREAMS will motivate you to make needed changes and take the necessary risks to move out of your comfort zone. Study the dreams and life of Abraham. It moved him out into the unknown, totally trusting God. (See Genesis 12 – 15 and Hebrews 11.) What passion are you embracing?
Third – PROCEED DELIBERATELY. Wishing is not enough. We must take deliberate steps. Perhaps baby steps at first. “By faith . . . Abraham went out” (Hebrews 11:8-12). Abraham believed his challenges were opportunities. He looked to the new and exciting opportunities God put before him. Like Abraham, we must take positive action to develop discipline, motivation, perseverance, and obedience to God, to reach our goals and dreams.
Fourth – YOUR PAST MUST BE DEEPLY BURIED. Forget any mistakes or failures of yesterday. We should learn from them, but don’t dwell on them. Move ahead. God forgives and forgets, so why don’t you? (See Psalms 103:3, 4, 10, 11 and Philippians 3:13.) John F. Kennedy said, “Change is the law of life and those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.”
Fifth – PART WITH DEAD WEIGHT. Anything that doesn’t support your dream, that which is most important to you, needs to be laid aside. Anything that interferes with your goal must be abandoned. Why spend energy, resources, time, and give space to activities or things that do not help advance your goals and dreams? Are there habits, attitudes, things, or sins that hold you back? Part with them. (See Hebrews 12:1-2.)
Sixth – GOD’S PROMISES DEVELOP FAITH. There are three enduring qualities that will propel you toward your dreams: faith, hope, and love. (See I Corinthians 13.) Believing and embracing the promises of God will release His presence and power into your life. God’s Word reveals that the Israelites had the promises of God, but it didn’t profit them because they were not mixed with faith. (See Hebrews 4:2 and 11:6.) Problems can’t be ignored, but as we focus on the promises and power of God, they can be turned into opportunities to bring God glory and reach our God given dreams.
Seventh – PUT ON THE DIFFERENT, NEW MAN. “And that you put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness” (Ephesians 4:24). Many wish they were a different person, a different father, mother, or spouse. In Christ, you can become a new creation. “Therefore, if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature; old things are past away; behold, all things are become new” ( II Corinthians 5:17). Abraham became a new man. “Abraham believed God and it was counted unto him for righteousness” (Romans 4:3).
Don’t wish your life away, believe God. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him, should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16)