Be careful what you wish for… you might just get it.
Isn’t that what we’re always warned about? You wish for something, that wish comes true, and it turns out the grass really was greener on the original side of the fence?
I wonder if the same thing goes for what you pray for. Be careful what you pray for… you might just get it.
But I suppose that’s how things work in an imperfect world. Nothing is perfect. Therefore, if nothing is perfect, then the after-affects, the consequences of an imperfect world must be imperfect as well. Even with perfect intentions, there are pluses and minuses, pros and cons. Nothing is perfect. Perfection is impossible in an imperfect world. So, even if you wish for perfection, you’ll never get perfection – you’ll get reality – and that’s the downside of the whole thing.
It’s funny when you look back on the things you once wished for – things from long ago, and things more recent. Sometimes we wonder, “Why did I ever want something like that?” Other times we wistfully think, “If I could only grasp that one thing…” That was my mood today. While waxing philosophically, I was thinking back on things I wished for… things I prayed for… and I was taking account of answered prayers and unanswered prayers. Some of the unanswered prayers were blessings in disguise. (No, scratch that. ALL of the unanswered prayers were blessings in disguise.) While some of the answered prayers were among the greatest challenges, the things that forced me to grow and stretch – especially when I didn’t want to.
Case in point: When I was younger (Okay, not that much younger. I’m not that old to begin with…)… college-aged… young and naive about my future… restless and adventurous and slightly rebellious… I used to pray for a life less ordinary.
I didn’t want an ordinary life. I wanted a life full of surprises and adventure and wild expectations and miracles. I didn’t want a house in the suburbs with a stable job and 2.3 kids, a trustworthy husband named Stewart, a golden retriever named Lady and a reliable car that got 15 mpg. No. I wanted to live by faith, and I wanted to see God do great things and I wanted to achieve great things and go where God led me.
And now… 10 years later… I think I actually got what I prayed for. Which at 32 years old isn’t what I really want at all. At 32 years old what I really, REALLY want is a house in the suburbs with a stable job and 2.3 kids, a trustworthy husband named Stewart, a golden retriever named Lady and a reliable car that gets 15 mpg. But instead I have an apartment in a podunk farming town, no kids, a husband who left me, an emotionally insecure cat and a 10 year old car whose rusty bumper is about to fall off. I work at a CATHOLIC school for very, VERY little pay, I have zero financial security, a ridiculously boring social life, my parents are gone and I have zero family nearby and… and… and the highlight of my days is going to Mass with my second graders. I’m excited about possibly becoming Catholic, and taking my kids on a field trip, and getting them involved in their church, and learning all I can about all the things I never knew about my faith. And here’s the really bizarre thing: I. LOVE. IT. It’s exciting and adventurous and miracles (big and small) are happening every day and I’m literally hanging on for dear life not having a clue which direction God is going to take me in and yet loving every single minute of not knowing and not having a plan but feeling all giddy because I know it will be good. It might be slightly uncomfortable at first… it might require me to stretch and grow… it might force me out of my comfort zone… but it thrills me!
It’s… in no uncertain terms… a life less ordinary. And there are days when I hate it and lament it and abhor it. Days when I want to get off the roller coaster and get back on the swing set. Days when I ask God (like I did just last week), “Can I PLEASE stop growing now? I’m about as strong as I can get. I’m good here. Just… let’s just leave it be… seriously. I’m tired. All done. Annie go nigh-nigh.” But that’s what you get when you ask for a life less ordinary. You might just get what you ask for.
And most days? I wouldn’t change it for anything.