Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a German theologian and pastor who worked tirelessly against the Nazis during World War II, stated, “A fulfilled life is possible in spite of unfulfilled wishes.” His words are as powerful now as they were during his short life. Our culture is obsessed with getting what we want—NOW. We think the good life is one where all your wishes come true—IMMEDIATELY. You can even see this in fairy tales. Cinderella’s life becomes better, only after her wishes are granted by the fairy godmother and she is rescued by Prince Charming. Bonhoeffer asks us to think again. Just because our wishes may not have come to pass does not mean that we have failed or were wrong. The real test is how we live our lives after the disappointment. Take time to be sad, grieve over wishes unfilled, but then what? What do we learn from our disappointments? How do we rebuild after these disappointments?
by Bridgette Powers, OSB