Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Fairy Tales of Perfect Lives

Long ago and far away, (while I was in my twenties and living in California), I still believed in fairy tales.

I used to believe that some people had perfect lives. I believed some people (usually found in whichever church I attended at the time) lived in perfect houses and had perfect

bank accounts,
and they lived happily ever after.

But then I grew-up.

I began to hear (later down the Road of Years) from those same people, that, exactly while I'd thought they'd been living a fairy tale existence, behind closed doors, they were having problems. Heartaches. Some big, some small, but always, generally, there was something wrong somewhere in the deeper rooms beyond the windows I could not peer into.

And eventually, although I never did wish I was an entirely different person, I did stop wishing for what other people had... for what they owned... or for the life they appeared to be living. The truth became lodged in my brain: No one upon this Earth has a perfect life. That isn't how it works. Not from the beginning of Time, well, not after Adam and Eve blew-it in the Garden. (They probably came closest, though, to having a fairy tale life-- up until the day of the apple-eating fiasco.)

No, instead, this is the way it works:

"In the world you will have tribulation, but be of good cheer for I have overcome the world." John 16:33

Guaranteed, if you arrive in this world the old-fashioned way, you are going to have

hard times,
bad days,
dreams which do no come true,
loved ones who die,
secret agonies,

...Some or all of the above of these, sometime, in the long Road of Years, will bug you. No matter who you are, who you were born to, how much money you have, whatever you own or wherever you may run to.

Everybody has something. Even millionaires, kings and movie stars. Something which is hard for them to face. And I grew-up a little bit more when I realized that, once and for all, everyone has soft spots and sore spots and troubling things going on. And whether or not their problems appear hard to me is not the point--each person's hardships are custom-made. What is hard for me would probably be a day in the park for you. And vice-versa.

What matters is that we know where to go for help--and when. What matters is that we do not suffer alone... or needlessly... for lengths and lengths of time.

And we begin to enjoy our own lives when we realize, once and for all, that Jesus longs to cheer us up and encourage us on during the hard times we face. And thank God, He is no fairy tale.

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