People went a little berserk a few weeks ago when the LA Times reported that Disney was done with Princess movies. Well they're not (according to Ed Catmull, the President of Disney) but when word first hit that Tangled might be the last of the good old fashioned Princess flicks, I think people went a little over the top, and with everyone and their dog blogging these days, it got a little catty out there.
It got me thinking about the real issue and why everyone was so worked up. Why do we love those movies so much and why do so many little girls take every opportunity to put on their fairy tale gear and twirl their days away in la-la land? Here's where all my thinking led me: I think it's built in, and not just in girls but in boys too. I think we were made for the fairy tale but for now we live in the...well, for lack of a better word, the nightmare. We were made by a loving God to live in perfect harmony with Him and each other, but because we're screw ups (all of us) we chose (and continue to choose) sin and the nightmare that follows. So here we are. Stuck in this mess we've chosen and helped create, but something in our gut tells us it's not supposed to be this way and there must be a way out.
There is - and it's a beauty.
The God who loves us has this great and beautiful rescue plan that's already in full swing and it includes, of all things, a Prince who rides in on His white horse and saves us all from the dreaded evil antagonist. A perfect Prince who knows you need to be rescued and is already coming for you. Pretty awesome actually. Our problem is that we get the real Prince confused with some future guy who's going to come along and make all our dreams come true. So we sit around and pine away and get all consumed with the idea of "the man of our dreams" or "mister right" or any number of terms we've given this imaginary future man, and in focusing all our energies on that dream, we forget to focus any on our true Prince whose name happens to be Jesus.
Have you done that? Because I have. And when some guy came along who sort of fit the bill (well he said a lot of nice things about me and told me he loved me), he had my full attention and Jesus was tossed aside for much much too long. In the end, the guy stuck around until it wasn't fun anymore and then moved on, leaving me feeling pretty used up and abandoned. It was horrible and I wouldn't wish that on anyone, but I know so many of you are headed in that same direction. I wish I could stop it. I wish I could make you believe that your Prince has already come and that He's always here, always listening, always available. And when He says He loves you, it's for real and forever. He loves you when you're grumpy, ugly, fat, snarky, boring, unfashionable, untalented, and downright unlovable as well as on your good days.
So I'm writing this today to encourage you, to encourage all of us, to keep the dream alive, but let's make sure it's the right dream. The fairy tale DOES exist but the happy ending comes after this life is over. Think of this life as the time Cinderella spent scrubbing floors and living in the attic as a servant. Or as the battle that must be fought in order for the Prince and Princess to end up together. There will be good days and bad days, and God will give us good gifts even in this life, which might or might not include a husband and family, but He's saving the Happily Ever After for when this battle is over, and it's going to knock our socks off. This life is where we do the hard work in front of us, knowing that the best is yet to come. It's where we live by faith, trusting that our White Knight is on His way but until He gets here, His Spirit will never leave our side and is committed to getting us home safely.
So there it is. The Prince, the trusty Sidekick, the damsel in distress and a billion different ways the story plays out. Our God is quite the storyteller and no matter how things are looking right now, He's coming for you. Remember that this Christmas as you celebrate the birth of your Savior and Prince whose name is Faithful and True, and let it help you celebrate well and with the right heart.
Merry Christmas everyone! We love you.