Bumpily Ever After…
You know why I like the Shrek movies? Because they aren’t “happily ever after.” I love the introduction to the first movie where he is reading a fairy tell with its normal “blah blah blah” and then comes to the page about “happily ever after” and rips it out to use as toilet paper. The first time I saw that I almost caused a scene in the theatre because I was laughing so loudly. I knew then and there, I was an ogre.
An ogre is not a bad person. We over think and over process things (like onions), have tender hearts that we hide with rough exteriors and are usually not the best looking guys on the block. We are sometimes sarcastic because that kind of covers our sensitive side and we get our feelings hurt very easily. We have to spend time off to ourselves in our huts or caves but we do really like to have others around, no matter how much we complain about it. We take on big tasks for small rewards and try to do the right thing even if it is hard. We say the wrong thing, do the wrong thing and make mistakes...alot. On the bright side, we always go back for our a…donkey, we care deeply about a great many things and don’t mind hard work. Most of all, we know that happily ever after is for fairy tales, not life.
That is the problem I have with a lot of popular, media driven Christianity. The underpinning message is that if you believe enough, are spiritual enough, give enough and are nice enough you will have big bank accounts, nice homes and live the Christian version of happily ever after. What a bunch of BS (baloney sandwiches according to my friend Connie Shelton). Do these people read the Bible…I mean actually read it. The New Testament super hero, Paul, was shipwrecked, starved, beaten and eventually killed. Not exactly a career path with fortunes galore these folks proclaim. Does this mean that we are to extrapolate that the author of a huge chunk of Scripture got it wrong…heck no! He got it right! He understood that this journey of faith is about living with, for and in Christ and that sometimes that requires sacrifice. It means you don’t get to have the “happily ever after” that you have in your mind. It also means, and this is the best part, that God will always be with you, never abandon you and unveil to you your God-shaped destiny one day at a time.
So I’m an ogre who has give up on happily ever after. Oh well, at least here in the swamp I am continuing to realize the power of being:
Lost in Grace,
My Lord and my king, let me continue to pray, “Thy will not my will be done.” Amen