Once Upon a Time

100_1403Once upon a time, that’s how all fairytales begin. With a princess dreaming for her prince charming, or with a farm boy wishing to be a chivalrous knight. Sometimes we wish our lives were fairytales, that all we would have to do is find a glass slipper, or kiss a frog, or to slay a dragon to rescue our true love before we would marry them and live happily ever after—

But would it be worth it?

What comes after, ‘happily ever after?’ There wouldn’t be any conflict, or instead it would be, ‘sometimes-happily ever after.’ And with no conflict, how fun would life be? Yes, not all trials and conflicts in our lives are enjoyable. In fact, many of them are painful, heart-wrenching. We just want to scream into the air and wish that everything would just stop! . . . But our trials mold us, don’t they? What would you be like right now, if your life was perfect?

Our trials give us strength and wisdom. Test our patience and endurance. Mold our personalities, and show us how much we are loved. No, they’re almost never easy, but they do shape us into who we are.

And how much fun would life really be with no conflict? There would be no challenges, no puzzles, and would you feel like you had a purpose in life if you had nothing to overcome? See, not all conflict is bad. We cringe at that word, but deciding if we should eat pizza or tacos is a conflict is it not?—which has an enjoyable outcome.

Tell me, what do you think of this story?: Once upon a time, there was a girl named Dolly. She was always happy and never cried. In fact, all she did was sit in bed all day, and enjoyed starring at her ceiling. The End.

Did you enjoy it? I hope not. What was wrong with it? No conflict—no dragons, no aliens, no older sister yelling at her. Just a boring story about nothing.

The next time you wish your life was a fairytale, that you could just find your prince charming and live happily ever after, ask yourself, “Would I really enjoy what I’m asking for?”

And so, the prince and the princess were happily married, and returned to the castle to celebrate, knowing they had many more adventures yet to come.

~Inspired by reading Donald Miller’s A Million Miles in a Thousand Years

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