There are some parts of childhood that I refuse to let go, and I’m perfectly fine with admitting that.
Because I don’t believe in not believing.
As kids, many of us allowed innocence to play an integral role in influencing the things we believed and didn’t believe. We believed some magical fairy sneaked money under our pillows while we were sleeping when we lost teeth; we sometimes believed actual monsters hid under our beds; we believed a hefty man in a red suit could fly around the world in a sleigh to deliver presents to all of the good kids all in a night’s work; we believed superheroes were real; we perhaps believed that if we ate appleseeds then apple trees would grow inside of us; we believed that we were kept safe from so many dangers in this world simply by holding our parents’ hands; we didn’t believe so many bad things in this world could not only exist but also integrate their ways into our lives somehow; we didn’t believe we might one day have to worry about struggling with health or finances or relationships; we didn’t believe that we wouldn’t live happily ever after.
But, somewhere along the lines, many of us grew up and lost not only innocence but also that childlike faith that makes people believe dreams can actually come true.
And I refuse to be one of those people.
One night last week while my sister and I were in Florida, we walked down to the beach and after a while sat back and stared up at the peaceful sky above us. We each picked out our own star and said out loud to each other what we wished upon that star. I don’t care how childish or naive it sounds–I believe with all of my heart that those two wishes will come true.
Whenever I see a dandelion, I pick it up, make a wish as I blow it into the wind and believe it will come true. When I blow out candles, I believe whatever it is my heart wishes will be reality. When I see a shooting star or cast up a wish into the night above me, I fully believe those wishes I make will one day happen. I don’t believe in some magic power in the way the dandelion blows or behind the fire of the candles or the might of the stars. I do believe, though, that you have to have hope that the things your heart desires will be more than empty wishes that disappear the moment they leave your lips.
Sure, not every wish you make is going to happen. I mean, I didn’t win those *NSYNC tickets on the radio station like I wished for when I was in the eighth grade. But I certainly spent way too much time on that phone hitting the redial button than I probably should have simply because I truly believed it was possible for me to be the whatever number caller it was I needed to be to win. Regardless of if the wish will ever be, the belief has to be there for it even to be likely.
I know we all have to grow up in various aspects of life, because we have to become more mature and live in the world of adulthood–that’s just one of the facts of life. But that doesn’t mean we have to give up every part of childhood. Some of the things we need to hold onto the most are the ones that kept us believing in things that weren’t necessarily even true.
I think it can become dangerous to let go of wishing upon things, because it can lead to hopelessness. I am 29 years old and have never even been on a date, but I still believe in love. For as long as I can remember, I wished that my first kiss would be in a gazebo in some romantic setting–maybe even with Christmas lights all around and perfect music playing in the background–but it didn’t happen that way. And I didn’t end up marrying (or even dating) the guy who gave me my first kiss like I had always wished. But you know what? I do believe I will someday get my gazebo kiss like I’ve always dreamed. I won’t give up on that wish, because you have to pursue wishes–not necessarily with some distinct actions but simply with keeping hope alive.
I think sometimes wishes are just prayers in disguise. God already knows the desires of our hearts, and we shouldn’t be afraid to believe they will come true. There’s no shame in having faith. None.
And if you need Journey to offer you some inspiration about believing, there’s nothing wrong with that, either.