During my childhood years it was not uncommon for siblings and friends to engage in a simple game called Just One Wish. Basically it went like this. One person would ask the other, “If a fairy godmother appears to you and grants you one wish, what would it be?” There was however one qualification attached to the question and that is your one wish must not be for more wishes.
Being children our wishes were never for stuff that adults want, such as houses, money, cars and fame. We wanted to meet our heroes from movies and sports, have a lot of friends, play until exhausted, do harmless mischief, experiment with stuff, and to know that we will always have a peaceful home and plenty of food.
But for another boy of olden times, such an offer would evoke a wish that might surprise most of us today. This was his one wish: “One thing I have desired of the Lord, that will I seek: That I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to inquire in His temple” (Psa.27:4).
Unlike most of David’s psalms, there is much uncertainty around the time he wrote Psalm 27. Some have suggested it was early in his life when he fled from King Saul, and others have opined that it was in the bloody aftermath of his encounter with Doeg the Edomite who instigated the murder of the priests. In any event, what is commonly agreed is that it was written in a time when he feared greatly for his safety.
How do we respond to fear? If our mythical fairy godmother were to come to us in this time of viral pandemic when many fear for survival and give us one wish, what would it be? Chances are that most would ask for things that would aid in the immediate preservation of physical life. But in his time of uncertainty David did not ask for the death of King Saul who out of jealousy had driven him into the wilderness and laid siege to his life. He did not ask for revenge on Doeg for killing the priests. He did not ask for the throne that was legally his through anointing. Power and position, revenge and restitution, safety and family, all the things adults wish for, none were on his list. Instead, his wish was for greater intimacy with God. He wanted to be in the shadow of the Father’s wings. He wanted to linger in the presence of the Lord, not just in times of trouble, but all the days of his life, good and adverse. He wanted to gaze into the face of his Father and to learn of his will and ways so he might fulfill his creational purpose.
David held the key to a fulfilled life. He understood that a meaningful life is only possible when we discover and walk in our foreordained purpose and that such a discovery is only possible if we are willing to spend time in our Creator’s presence. He knew that peace, prosperity, health, and even fame, are not proximate but secondary ends, the byproducts of a life that is vitally connected to its Maker. In other words, he knew fully well what his antitype Jesus meant when he said, “seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness and all these things shall be added to you” (Mt.6:33). David got his one wish perfectly right. What about us?
Artwork pixabay.com: Sarah Richter (https://www.instagram.com/sarahrichterart/)