Promises in the In Between

“Once upon a time...” so begin thousands of timeless fairy tales and children’s stories—stories of adventure, chivalry, love, beauty, terror, beasts, dragons…anything that could ever pass through the curious mind of a child. This phrase has been the chosen standard to begin the written adventures of a child’s culminated dreams for as long as penned imagination has been a popular part of children’s lives. Etymologically speaking, “Once upon a time” could truly mean anything—it uses the vaguest of word combinations to provide just enough information to take out any obligatorily realistic time frame. Utterly, the addition of this phrase simply takes away all natural boundaries of the preconceived mind. It has become such that whenever these words are heard or read, we know automatically that we have entered a world of freedom specially tailored for the mind of a child.

People often say “Life is not a fairy tale.” What is it about life that is so unlike a fairy tale? Is it the strife that we humans face on a daily basis? Is it the conflict that surrounds each and every man? These answers are determinedly acceptable, because they fit into the “bred-in-captivity” mind of man—but how can we think that? There are conflicts and trials in abundance in the stories of youth. We never read a story and expect there not to be any source of pain or evil. What identifies a fairy tale is a fantastical idea that rejects physical reality—instead of the boundaries of life, we are presented with the freedom of perspective.

When we are fed stories of fantasy and extremity, I think we can find them completely comparable to our mental view of life. Ignore the logic—what is the perspective of this story? From the very first phrase, “Once upon a time”, we can certainly say that no matter what road the words take us down or what twists and turns they endure, the story will end with a pleasant “…they lived happily ever after.” As a child of Christ, I have been given a life story, specially tailored for myself. A fairy tale?—maybe not at first glance, but I will have my happily ever after; my Jesus will make it so. The rest is up to me—how will I put into the words the life that Christ has given me? I must take note, there will always be pain and adversity—without it, what would my story be? Beauty can only be found if we see it in the quarrel of contrasts with the villain of the story. I have to choose to look into Beauty’s eyes as he fights for the survival of the good in my life—what joy can be found if I only look for it! In a story authored by Yahweh, the ending is absolute; I will live happily ever after—but what will I focus on while the climax of my story is yet to come?

This is a decision that every one has to make individually. As for me…I plan to spend my life smiling, with affection and admiration, at the One who has given me the promise of a happily ever after. Tears may cloud my eyes as pain invades, but my desire is that my lips will always curve into a picture of the timeless romance I have with my Savior!