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The other day a friend came up to me and asked me, “Father, what is your wish?” Taken completely by surprise, I was quiet until she asked me again. Then I managed to ask, “My wish? Do you mean for the world, for the country, or for myself?” She answered, “For you. What is it you truly, truly want or wish for.” Again there was a deathly silence. I smiled coyly and said almost inaudibly, “I don’t know.
I guess I never really gave that question much thought. Somehow, it felt like she was trying to get deep down inside me. It seems to be a place I have not been to in a long time, at least not for myself. Maybe I frequented it as a child, but now that I am a grown man (I think? or I hope so!) I have occupied myself with the big, serious stuff. Then fear crept up on me as I thought, ‘I have ceased to dream. Have I lost the child in me?”
Then I consoled myself because I still believe that wishes do come true if we hold on tight enough and long enough. But it is not a question of simply looking for the biggest star in the sky and wishing upon it. It may help to keep those hopes high, but much of it depends on our efforts coupled with a lot of help and grace from God.
I know of a person who, as a child, had the simplest wish: a volleyball. She had told her mother about it, and the mother shot it down. No one ever said to her that there were many ways to make her wish come true. The fulfillment of her dream or her wish did not depend solely on her mother. Who knows, she could have been a really good ball player by now, or a sports equipment or a ball manufacturer. But she let the dream go with all its possibilities. She let it die.
More than 2000 years ago, a Great Being whom I shall call God had a wonderful dream, an all-time big wish. He wanted to create beings in His own image and likeness and make them the happiest creatures to ever roam the earth. The first ones He created, our first parents, messed up a little, and so someone sort of shot His dream down. But dear God was determined. He had created such an awesome masterpiece. He could not let it go to waste. So He thought of Master Plan B. He sent His Son, who is actually Himself, to conquer the evil that had permeated the earth. That way, He felt his dream would still come true. Maybe Plan A with paradise and all did not work, but this time He was certain Plan B would work because He would directly intervene.
So, God hung on to this dream. He still has this wish. He wants all of humanity to be happy, not just for a moment. Not just while they enjoy all the rivers, streams, mountains, valleys, plants, trees, flowers, birds, fishes, and all other creatures, great and small. He wants them to be happy with Him forever in an eternal paradise where there is no more death, suffering, or shot down dreams.
The nice thing about God is that even if His big wish for us is to be happy with Him in the Eternal paradise, He will not force it down our throats. In fact, He lets us pursue our own dreams and whatever little wishes we may have. Yet He does not let go of His big dream.
I continue to struggle through my own daily wishes, which I have learned in grown-up language means goals. I work on big ones and small ones everyday, like: finish my correspondence, talk to this or that individual or group, give retreats, recollections, attend endless meetings. It does work to know what you want and to work on it with God’s help, of course.
I have one wish now, though or should I say make that three: One, I wish my friend comes back to listen to my wishes. I know now what they are. Two, I wish God’s wish becomes my ultimate goal and my all-time big wish in life. Three, I wish God’s wish for all humanity comes true.
Jesus Our Light