There used to be an advert for a well-known insurance company that began with the words I wanna be… my favourite ones were;
A brain surgeon
But my favouritist of all was the couple. The man said “we wanna be together” and the woman’s face told a different story!
I remember being taken to visit many elderly relatives, as a child, who seemed to want to know what I wanted to be when I “grew up” (it was a train driver, by the way). But, it seems, as we grow up there is something about ambition that seems to leave us as we find the world isn’t quite as possible as we dreamed or, our focus changes in life.
But, I wonder if we “grown-ups” are missing something of the joy of dreaming? Perhaps it’s a bit of Christmas sentimentality that has brought this on (please don’t tell anyone, I have a bah humbug reputation to keep up) or, perhaps, it’s that recently, I have been re-visiting some places of my past and I have been reflecting on the feelings and emotions they evoke.
If you were to ask me now what “I wanna be…” it would stump me a bit! Perhaps because I am doing a job I love. I live in a place I like. I have family around me (I know, I don’t look old enough to be a granddad). I am not a great one for things and my lifestyle is comfortable.
So what do “I wanna be…”?
The answer came as I was preparing for our Advent Services at Church. I re-read the story of the angel’s announcement to Mary and felt really amazed by Mary’s response. I then read on in the story. Mary goes to see her cousin, Elizabeth, who is also miraculously pregnant and will eventually give birth to her son John (we refer to him as John the Baptist) and the interchange that takes place between Mary and Elizabeth really spoke to me;
“Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. And why has this happened to me, that the mother of my Lord comes to me? For as soon as I heard the sound of your greeting, the child in my womb leaped for joy. And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her by the Lord.” (Luke 1 vs. 42 – 45)
For me, it was the word “blessed” that leapt off the page at me in fact, I thought “that’s it. I wanna be blessed”
I don’t think many people understand what it means to be “blessed”. I am sure many people equate “blessed” with material success; nice house, car, money in the bank. I am certain Mary didn’t have any of this! So, how is she “blessed”?
The Greek word that is used here is μακάριος (makarios). It means to be fully satisfied. It means receiving God’s favour in spite of the external circumstances. What I have come to understand is that blessing is anything which draws us closer to God and helps us to hold onto the eternal.
For Mary, her experiences up to this point in the story, would enable her to have confidence in God. But, as we know, there would be some tough times ahead. Simeon predicted this when Jesus was presented in the temple;
and a sword will pierce your own soul too. (Luke 2 vs. 35)
In all of our lives, we face struggles and challenges. So, to be blessed means in the heartaches, struggles and disappointments we face we find the presence of God and He reveals Himself more fully to us.
So, on that basis, I wanna be blessed – how about you?