Happily Ever After, After All

Sometimes life just doesn’t seem to go as you once thought it might. There’s no glass slippers, pumpkins don’t turn into elegant carriages, mice don’t sing and there are no fairy godmothers who fly around twirling their wands while wisps of fairy dust softly fall here and there.

Sometimes I’ve thought that fairy tales should be banned from a little girl’s childhood. Tales of deception that lead her into believing that life turns out happily ever after.

We who believe that we have a God that loves and cares for us—a God who fights for us—know that life is not so carefree or our God would not have need to fight. In other words, life is not so carefree.

Yet, I suppose one could argue that fairy tales are actually beneficial, in a sense, for they allow us to hope for something better, something purer, something more. Perhaps fairy tales inadvertently lead us on our road of faith, searching for that something better, something purer, something more. Perhaps they lead us to discover that elusive prince charming. And in our search, we find that the illusive becomes reality having eventually finding that something better, something purer, something more.

For years the Israelites roamed the desert, wanting out, wanting to be freed, wanting a prince to save them. For years they grumbled and complained.

For centuries, the descendants of David waited for a redeemer. For years they overlooked the One that had been given them.

I’m pretty sure that for a while Cinderella thought her life was destined for drudgery and doom, soot and suffering. Yet, when she least expected it, her prince showed up. She tried on the magic slipper, it fit and he took her home. And as the story goes, they lived happily ever after.

We tend to spend years looking for that elusive prince. The one who comes riding in on a white stallion – the one who will take us back to the castle to live happily ever after.

We neglect to realize… He’s already here.

There is a castle, where He is preparing a room, just for you. And there is a white stallion ready to ride to where you are. And there is a Prince. He doesn’t have glass slippers to prove you are His, but He does have a cross that He hung on and died—just for you.

Wait just a minute –

A castle.

A prince.

I suppose that makes me His princess.

I guess there really is a happily ever after, after all.

I Was A Princess

I have a bad habit of cutting and pruning things and piling the cuttings and brush in piles and then when I am finished, I am too tired to pick them up and discard them. It’s not a big chore, as there is a specified dumpster that I am able to drive right up to and dump it in but it is one chore I don’t leave energy for.

The other day I was doing just that. I had driven a few bags and boxes and tubs to the dumpster to clean up the piles accumulating behind the house. I put down the door hatch in the back of the car and got in the car.

Starting the engine, I then put it in drive and made a left onto the road and headed down to the dumpster. I got out of the car, put on my gloves and walked to the back of the car and opened the door.

Grabbing the first tub, I heard a “Stop right there. We’ll do that.”

I turned around to see the two maintenance guys in our park pull up and exit their little golf cart.

“Really?,” I asked, feeling they had enough to do and I didn’t.

“Yep. Just leave it there. We’ll get it for you,” said Toby, the one who has worked here for ten years.

It’s a funny thing what pain can do. It humbles you. It changes you. It makes you a different person. Where once I felt I could do it all and would feel guilty and reply with something like, “You just go ahead and do what you need to do – I can get this“, now I am happy for the help.

So, I stood there and watched them empty my garden clippings and thought, “I feel like a princess.” And then I asked myself, “Is this what a princess feels like?”

I am certain it is. A princess has her own servants who empty her yard clippings. They lift out the bundles from her carriage so that in her daily pain she does not wince and feel every stretch of her muscles that have tightened in her back and neck and arms.

I don’t think of Toby or the other guy as servants. Yet, in their willingness to serve me, I did feel like a princess, even if it was for only a moment.