“Jesus said in reply, ‘You do not know what you are asking. Can you drink the cup that I am going to drink?’” – Mt. 20:22

If I had a penny for every time I asked God for something, I would probably drown in pennies. From when I was young to even now, I find myself constantly asking God for everything ranging from the mundane to the life-changing and expecting the world of Him. Then, when things do not meet my expectations, I find myself condemning God for not listening or caring. From there, it becomes a cycle of desolation and unappreciation.

How often, however, do I think about what I’m asking of God? Am I ready for what God has in store for me? Am I even paying attention to what God has given me? My wishes are fickle. One day I can wish for love, and another day I could wish to be alone. Days where I wish for the successful execution of a complex plan and days where I wish life was simpler. I do not know the full ramifications of what I am asking most of the time, but I get caught up in my own thoughts and fail to see the yellow brick road God lays before me.

Leading up to Lent, I found myself wishing for many things, from successfully executing planned events to passing graduate school finals to surviving work. Even within my relationships with others, I found myself questioning friendships and wishing things were simpler or different. All that eventually came to pass, just as all past troubles and their associated wishes did before. This time, however, I found myself accepting the good and bad results with a new outlook. Instead of constantly wishing and thinking about what could be, I need to slow down. I want to listen to what God is telling me behind those wishes, what He has in store for me. Most importantly, I want to accept the cup that is His wish for me with an open heart rather than one chained down by contempt for “broken” wishes. I want to appreciate the contents of each drop and be fully present to each sip instead of wishing for it to be something else.

Nothing is wrong with wishing of course, but perhaps I could stop drowning in pennies and instead appreciate each penny as it lands in my hands.

How are my wishes different from what God wishes of me? How can I slow down this Lent and appreciate God’s wish for me instead of expecting things of Him?

Lord, I know I wish for many things. Sometimes I cannot help it. Guide me to Your wish for me and allow me to accept it with love and grace instead of drowning in my own wishes and expectations so I can prepare myself during this Lenten season and be closer to You.

Kevin Nguyen