Imagine it is the end of the year and you stumble into the presence of God – the one who owns everything and can do absolutely anything. Just think the same God who loves you to bits then says to you, ” ask me anything that you think can make you totally fulfilled this year and your wish will be granted “. I don’t know exactly what would be your response but if the same opportunity presented itself to me a couple of months ago (thank goodness it didn’t!) my response would be something like this…
“Wow! Many thanks God for this gesture. I will appreciate enormous material wealth, excellent health, and a very long pain-free life. I’ve always wanted to be famous, to be loved by all people and to be respected by everyone. So if you can make it happen, Lord, it will be brilliant. And if you don’t mind, please, guarantee to always give me whatever I want, whenever I want it and the way I want it. This, I believe, will go a long way… thank you again, Lord and cheers…”
The above scenario is obviously fictional. It was nothing fictional though to one very lucky teenage Jewish King by the name of Solomon. The scripture informs us that one night God appeared to him in a dream and asked him to make a wish. Solomon did not ask too many things and his answer was a bit philosophical. Having ascended the throne at that young age King Solomon only asked for wisdom – the ability to distinguish right from wrong and to allow him to be successful in his God-given responsibility of leading a mighty nation of Israel.King Solomon got more than He asked for. But there was a problem – a big problem to say the least. Solomon was never happy with what he got. None of these things – gifted wisdom, mega wealth, excellent health, enviable fame and longevity – collectively or individually, brought him joy. To put it mildly, Solomon was frustrated and was on record repeatedly saying to himself, “vanity, vanity… everything in this world is vanity” (Ecc. 1:2)
I know some of you might be saying already, “oh.. please don’t take us back to the old school… where fervent preachers sold us the Gospel that condemned material prosperity to be evil, destructive and completely irrelevant.” The truth is, I am absolutely not! What I’m saying is that to be fulfilled we need more than material prosperity. Just like our bodies need a balanced diet to be healthy our human nature needs a balanced diet for the body, mind and spirit to be totally fulfilled. This is exactly what I call holistic prosperity.
Although the feeling of satisfaction is common to us all the things that satisfy us differ. In this respect the dose for fulfillment is strictly personal and private; it must be tailor-made. Only God our creator knows this exact diet for our individual fulfillment. He is the one who precisely understands our present and our future needs that best suits His purpose. That is why we must worship and trust only Him.
Making resolutions and wishes without consulting God is dangerous because you might not like what you might get. Life is not entirely about getting what you want but also to want what you are getting. Stephen Covey was dead right in saying, “ If the ladder is not leaning against the right wall, every step we take just gets us to the wrong place faster… so before you start climbing make sure the ladder is leaning against the right wall”.
Boris Becker rose to be number one tennis player in the world a few years ago, yet admitted that he was suicidal even as his achievements and fame were peaking. He said, “I had won Wimbledon twice before, once as the youngest player. I was rich. I had all the material possessions I needed… It’s the old song of movie stars and pop stars that commit suicide. They have everything, and yet they look so unhappy. I had no inner peace. I was a puppet on a string.”
Jack Higgins, the internationally famous novelist, was asked what he would like to have known when he was younger. He replied, “That when you get to the top, there’s nothing there.”
Today, if God ever asks me to make a wish (even if He doesn’t) my response will always be, “God, just give me what you think is the best for me, help me to trust you more, and to be grateful for every thing that comes my way!”