“Hope is wishing for a thing to come true; faith is believing that it will come true” (Norman Vincent Peale).
FOR ALL OUR WHIMS, WE DON’T HAVE MANY REAL WISHES. A wish is more than a transient urge or a passing fancy. It is a real desire or longing for something. It is a strong inclination based on more than a mood. The things that we wish for are things that bubble to the surface as our inner character interacts with our outward circumstances. They are things that we would really like to see come true. And as Norman Vincent Peale suggests, faith adds the element of expectation. If we have confidence that our wishes are in fact going to come true, then what we have is a combination of hope and faith.
Some people, of course, are nothing more than dreamers. Their wishes never put on any work clothes, and nothing ever comes of their intentions. But as long as we’re willing to back up our wishes with hard work, there is a lot to be said for wishing big wishes. The human heart is vast. Its capacity is almost infinite. And it’s a pity that we so often content ourselves with wishes that are far below our ability. So let’s let ourselves go, at least once in a while. Let’s wish for some things that would stretch us to our limits . . . and even beyond.
While we’re increasing the size of our wishes, however, we also need to give some consideration to their quality. Too often, our biggest wishes have to do with nothing more than our possessions and our lifestyles. But we’ve been endowed with the ability to wish for things that are much more important, things that have to do with our character. So add to your wish list some items that would increase your integrity. If a genie ever gave you three wishes, you wouldn’t want to waste them on toys or entertainments, would you?
The bottom line is, our wishes need to be consistent with our principles. It’s a dangerous game that we play when we wish (however privately) for the fulfillment of desires that are inconsistent with our deepest convictions. So we should keep a close watch on our wishes, lest they come true and we regret it. Or maybe we should simply say it this way: we ought not to wish for things that we wouldn’t pray for.
“Anything large enough for a wish to light upon is large enough to hang a prayer upon” (George MacDonald).