Wishful Thinking

Who hasn’t read or heard the story of Aladdin and the magic genie? Rubbing an old lamp released the genie who granted Aladdin three wishes. In the 1992 Disney animated movie version, the genie explained to Aladdin the three provisos:

  •  Genie can’t kill anyone.
  •  Genie can’t make people fall in love. 
  • Genie can’t bring anyone back from the dead

A Google search included this related answer regarding the general “rules” for all wishful thinking:

  • You cannot receive more wishes than you were originally allotted. Some genies, or leprechauns or magic spirits give one wish, or two, even if the standard is three.
  • No creating or ending life .
  • You cannot effect free will.

In my younger years, I daydreamed about what I would wish for if I had been given the chance. Wishing got a little more complicated when I reached my teenaged years and made some bad choices.

I didn’t have a genie but I did have an incorrect view of God. Anyone else ever make a “foxhole prayer”? “Oh God, if you get me out of this I will NEVER/ALWAYS…”

I knew I couldn’t rub a lamp and make God give me what I thought I needed. But I thought I could convince God to do my bidding. Surprisingly, sometimes circumstances did work out the way I wished. At those times did I then remember my vow to “NEVER/ALWAYS…”? No.

When I was 23 years old, I stood next to a hospital bed where my sister, Annette, lay dying of cancer. I and a lot of people had prayed and prayed that her cancer would be cured. But it got progressively worse.

I thought about the TV preachers who said crazy things like, “In the name of Jesus, evil spirits come OUT!” They seemed to fix the people who then fainted from relief or terror. “Maybe Jesus (God) would fix Annette,” I thought.

Feeling self-conscious because my faith was very weak, I held Annette’s hand as she lay sleeping. “Jesus, please make the cancer disappear,” I said. But I didn’t feel anything mystical, nothing seemed different. And a few days later, Annette died.

Something changed in me some years later as I prepared to get married. I connected with the pastor who led Kim and I in premarital counseling. Not much later I joined that church and began a journey to better understand and serve God.

Worshipful Knowing

Today, I don’t try to manipulate God’s will and purposes for me. I’ve grown that much at least! I usually pray to be shown His will for me and to direct my actions and words toward Him.

Rather than the pain and frustration that I used to feel when trying to control people, places and God, I relax in most stressful situations because I commit to trusting God and accepting what comes.

The peace I feel in tough situations is worth far more than whatever I thought I needed in the past to achieve happiness.

God is real, alive and active in and through me. No genie could ever come close to matching what I have today.