“More tears are shed over answered prayers than unanswered ones.”
As a kid, I always thought “Be careful what you wish for; you might just get it” was a confusing maxim. Why wouldn’t I want to get what I wished for?
As an adult, of course, I’ve begun to understand. Put at its simplest, the proverb simply means that our ability to understand our desire is outmatched by the passion of the desire itself. What we so desperately crave now may be the very worst thing for us in the long run.
With that stated, here are some warnings about our wishes:
- Be careful when you wish for an obedient child, because the ones who obey the most are usually the ones thinking the least. Toddlers who reflexively obey often become teens who reactively rebel.
- Be careful when you wish for a lover who can’t live without you, because few things are more burdensome than a needy spouse. I’ve always told my kids that when someone tells them they can’t live without you, tell ‘em “well, it’s a good thing my dad is a therapist, ‘cos we can get you the help that you need.” Desperate dependence is not romantic, it’s diagnosable.
- Finally, on this Super Tuesday in our American politics, be careful when you wish for an outsider, who’s finally gonna tell it like it is and make things great. Why? Because those who dictate terms in every discussion are not good negotiators; they’re dictators.