Your Very Own Bag of Tricks for Flying Through Life
I love Halloween! There, I said it. I am a Christian who delights in this pagan holiday. I know that Fright Night has some distant connection to witchcraft and sorcery. I know that I'm not supposed to dabble in its pleasures. For my family, however, Halloween is about pumpkin slime, crazy costumes, and candy...lots and lots of candy (I'll trade you for all your chocolate!).
If you find yourself offended by references to evil spells and magical creatures, you might want to skip this little ditty. It's full of fairy tale enchantments that I simply find to be great fun! You can send me your scholarly thesis on why Christians shouldn't celebrate Halloween or post a zinger on my Facebook page. I'm afraid there's no converting me. Like the character I played in my high school musical, I will always be a bit of a wicked witch.
On a Saturday morning I stood at the kitchen counter flipping pancakes for my still slumbering kiddos. This breakfast would be a nice change from our usual instant oatmeal and granola bars on-the-go.
Faith, my middle child, was the first one up. She trudged up the steps bleary-eyed until the scent of butter and warm syrup hit her.
"Pancakes?" she asked, eyebrows raised hopefully.
"Yep," I said. "I had some time this morning so I thought I'd surprise you!"
Faith closed her eyes and inhaled deeply, then raced around the counter to give me a hug.
"I love sleep," she drawled. "It's like a time machine to breakfast!"
I cracked up at Faith's clever metaphor, but it gave me pause.
Aren't there days when we all wish for a time machine to fling us into the future and allow us to bypass our present struggles...to sate a hunger for something we cannot name? Don't we all sometimes long to crawl into bed and sleep for a couple of decades like Rip Van Winkle?
And while we're on the subject of sleep and fairy tales, am I the only one who questions the lame curse in Sleeping Beauty?
Fascinated by the spinning wheel, Aurora touches the spindle, pricking her finger. As had been foretold by the curse, Aurora is put under a sleeping spell. The good fairies place Aurora on her bed with a red rose in her hand and cause a deep sleep to fall over the entire kingdom until they can find a way to break the curse.
A sleeping curse? Sounds more like a spa vacation to me. Not so fast with the curse breaking, good fairies! I think the entire messed-up kingdom could use a nice long snooze!
There are, in fact, a few essential life elements that have the effect of a beneficent time machine. These elements make our days whiz by even when we're in the middle of tough stuff. They transform our moments into less trick, more treat and, while they can't actually transmogrify us, they do have the power to reshape our perspective.
You won't need spells or fairies or time machines to pull off this switcheroo, because you already have access to your very own bag of tricks. In large part, flying through life is a matter of choice.
You get to choose...
It is the confidence in what we hope for and the assurance about what we do not see (Hebrews 11:1). It is the unbending belief that our present troubles are not worth comparing to the ultimate joy that is to come (2 Corinthians 4:17-18). It is the firm and secure anchor for our souls when we feel tossed about (Hebrews 6:19). Faith in Christ is the ultimate hope which no fairy tale can hold a candle to.
When you've lost your way, friends can help you remember who you are and gently guide you back to the right path...the one that's bramble free and void of flying monkeys. The loyalty and guidance of true friends trumps the magic of fairies every time.
Duh! "Time flies when you're having fun" is much more than an old adage; it is, in fact, a scientifically proven fact that has been lived out in hamlets all over the kingdom. Whether your chosen folly is testing out hoppy IPA's at the local pub, bursting into song with woodland creatures, or skipping down a yellow brick road with your sidekicks, play deserves a slot on your calendar. Even the assiduous seven dwarfs took time to dance!
To feast is to live out of abundance instead of scarcity. It is the capacity to see past what we lack to count what we have as more than enough. An attitude of feasting is available to those from even the humblest of backgrounds. It is how poor children find delight in games created out of sticks. It is why a village woman with a small loaf of bread offers half to a hungry passerby.
It is the Stone Soup idea that if each one of us shares a little - love, grace, forgiveness, wealth - we will all have plenty. And the hardship we carry to the table is divided just as our joy is increased.
Call it hoping for the best. This handy talisman inspires us to live with expectation. To detect the prince inside the Beast, the stately carriage within the squatty pumpkin. It spurs us to set crazy goals and work toward achieving them. Despite difficult circumstances - job loss, relationship loss, hair loss - forward thinking keeps us putting one foot in front of the other, trusting that we'll arrive at the castle even before its spires are in view.
Welcome to life outside the fairy tale, where "happily ever afters" sometimes bite the dust and Prozak is sold at the village apothecary. Before begging the local fairies for a sleeping elixir or shape shifting into a cantankerous evil queen, consult your handy bag of tricks. No, these tools won't speed you through your present trials, time-machine style. They may, however, give you the magical perspective needed to fly above the clouds.