Dusty Springfield, did you guess right?
We are ready to celebrate Advent as a time of anticipation of the blazing fact of the Incarnation of God in real time on real earth. I spent part of today writing many times on Christmas cards "best wishes for" whatever blessings I thought the recipient would need.
However, wishing is an easy step downwards from praying. Wishing, viewed within a life of faith, is kind of suspect. It's asking for something without the requisite acceptance of God's Will for whether we get it or not. Wishing is usually pretty specific and demanding: we wish that we don't get a cold before Saturday, or that the football team wins this Sunday. Of course, we should pray to be open to God's decisions for us instead, since He has a plan for us for good, not evil (cf Jeremiah 29).
It's scary how shockingly evil wishing can become, a silent mental weapon. "I wish that skinny little size 4 would gain thirty pounds and see how she likes it." "I wish that old so-and-so would lose his job he's always bragging about." "I wish that the cops were around that corner and pull over that rude driver." Maybe we know wishing can be a mere incantation, so we can lapse into these awfulnesses....but they do our souls no good.
So I'm working on banishing the phrase "I wish that" from my vocabulary, even at this wishy time of the year. However, I still retain a few wishes that I won't bother God with:
1. I wish there were fewer Brazil nuts in cans of mixed nuts. They take up valuable cashew space and they taste like wax-infused chalk.
2. I wish I liked goat cheese as much as I like Cheez Whiz. It tastes like they leave pieces of actual goat in it, but it's so damn classy.
3. I wish I could find a color of lipstick that doesn't make me feel like I'm walking into a room mouth-first.
4. I wish office Christmas parties were fun.
5. I wish the leaders of all the world would require, by force of law, that car manufacturers put the gas inlet on the SAME SIDE of every single blessed brand and model.
What do you wish for?