Lenten Devotion for Day 15 March 9, 2023

(Malcolm Gladwell meets Cinderella)

What do you wish for? What do you hope for? The Good Courage writer for today suggests wishes are aspirations you might like to see happen, but cannot or will not put in the work needed to achieve them. They offered the personal example of wishing to be able to play jazz saxaphone, but also admitted they can’t read music. (Which may indicate they haven’t the education and training they’d need to reach that goal.)

Hopes are things that may be difficult, but for which you may actually have the drive and needed capacities to make happen.

It’s a useful distinction, that reminds me of what journalist Malcolm Gladwell called the 10,000 hour rule. He referenced a researcher who’d concluded that most of us need that much time to practice, to become good at something.

That notion, which has been debated, and refuted by other researchers and writers, still kind of rings true for me. It’s hard to be good at anything, or make anything happen, unless I work at it.

It’s very hard for a “wish” to move into the realm of “hope” unless I am willing to put myself into it.

Most congregations I’ve served have people in them, who “wish” we were doing something different, or better, or more. Often the “wish” they describe is something lovely, and compelling, and pretty hard to argue with.

Yes, it would be wonderful to have 100 kids in Sunday School. Cool idea. Would you like to recruit some teachers, train them, refurbish the classrooms, find a good curriculum, and also, find those kids?

I am deeply grateful for those who move beyond the wishing to the doing, and who give of their time and creativity to help good things happen.

I’ve noticed over the years that they are usually not the people who have been the most vocal about the things they wish “someone” would do.


  1. Jenifer says:

    I am a firm believer in if you want something done, get up and do it because rarely are people going to do it for you. Don’t complain about the change that needs to happen when you have the capability to start making that change.

    1. Darrow says:

      I tried to be careful to show my gratitude for those who do just that!

      1. Jenifer says:

        Yes for sure. I did notice that 😉

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