Once upon a time…
according to the Oxford English Dictionary, ‘once upon a time….’ has been used in one way or another since 1380 and by the 1600’s it was a readily accepted way to start a story.
4 words 400 years later…
As a young girl, once upon a time were four of my favorite words to read. Once upon a time set the stage for adventure and intrigue. Battles, real or imagined, were fought and good always won out over evil. The hero saved the day and often the damsel-in-distress. Within the words of the story, the protagonists life was changed for the better and the story always ended with my other favorite phrase… happily ever after.
Though I knew those stories by heart, I never tired of reading them. I lost myself in the pages of the book as my imagination would allow me to be the hero or the damsel. I would battle the evil and be victorious or allow myself to be rescued by the brave and mighty one. For few minutes, I lived the fairytale… only to close the book until the next time.
44 years old…
and I’ve learned a thing or two about fairytales and happily ever after. They don’t just happen between the pages of a book and they are not just for children any more. Once upon a time happens every single day and a life well lived is so very much more than a simple story of fire-breathing dragons, princesses, and pint-sized heroes.
Each moment of every single day is another once upon a time. Time waits for no one but the one who lives the full life claims those moments within time and lives them to the fullest… over and over again. The moment comes but once, never to be repeated in exactly the same manner. Each moment is a new opportunity to fight battles, to save the day as a memory to cherish, and to allow good to be triumphant.
…happily ever after.
Living once upon a time moments allows for a full, rich life. Not every moment is pretty. Some moments are the Hallmark moments stamped on my heart. Other moments surprise me with their rich simplicity and raw beauty. Most, though, are messy battlefields. Wounded hearts, bruised souls that stand triumphant after the good vs. evil battle because the war has already been won.
Jesus paid the price for my fairytale and bought my happily ever after. Who am I, then, to not claim once upon a time over and over and over again and live this once upon a time called my life to the fullest for Him?