This morning I heard from a friend who was deeply disappointed, even disillusioned, that something she really had her heart set on was not going to happen. I think we've all found ourselves in that unfortunate position at different intervals in our life, but the good news is that we eventually rid ourselves of the blues over the matter by hopeful rationalizing "I guess it wasn't meant to happen" or "maybe I'll be better off in the long run."
I was reminded of the decades old universal truth expressed by The Rolling Stones in the refrain "You can't always get what you want..." There is more to this haunting song, but we'll get to that in a moment.
One of the dangers in the wanting something but not getting it issue is that the scenarios can range from trivial to life-changing, but they all have one thing in common -- the possibility that when you don't get what you want, you desire it even more than before. There is also another consideration and it is that psychologically, people do not like to be told they can't have or can't do something. It's related to not wanting to be controlled by others, especially if the situation feels unfair or arbitrary.
To anyone facing the "wanting something but not getting it" problem, I would caution against the rebellious reaction of a teenager: "Oh yeah? Just try and stop me!" Better that you just let the matter go and accept the message contained in the rest of the Rolling Stones song:
"You can't always get what you want...
But if you try sometimes
You just might find
You get what you need."
During this Christmas season and as we head into a new year, I pray dear friends that you all find what you "need."