An Unfruitful Pursuit My Reflection on a long lost fairy tale
by Sneha Rao
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My old time favourite fairy-tale story:
The Paper Bag Princess.
I encountered with this story when I was a little kid, my teacher at school repeatedly narrate this story to me.
And I loved it! Which 5 year old, dreamy kid wouldn't like a story of princesses, kingdoms, dragons and castles?!
And after so many years as I was sitting in my room gazing at the ceiling, day-dreaming, I remembered this story which was not even a distant memory, ALL OF A SUDDEN, OUT OF THE BLUE....
I was surprised but also excited and jumped up to check it out on Wikipedia, just to remind myself of this story for the fun of it. I was expecting it to be like those typical fairy-tales where there is a beautiful but poor princess in rags, disappointed and miserable in life when she finally meets a handsome prince who makes her feel like a princess and loved her just the way she is and they live a castle happily ever after!
BUT... NO... I WAS SO WRONG, SO SO SO WRONG....
The plot goes a bit like this:-
Princess Elizabeth plans on marrying Prince Ronald, who is practically perfect. However, a dragon arrives who destroys her kingdom, kidnaps Ronald, and burns all her clothes so that she has no choice but to wear a paper bag. Elizabeth follows the dragon and Ronald, and seeking to rescue her fiancÚ, challenges the dragon to burn forests with fire and to fly around the world. The dragon completes the tasks but after flying around the world a second time becomes tired and falls asleep. Elizabeth rescues Ronald, who is ungrateful and tells her to return when she looks more like a princess. And they do not get married after all.
I was shocked. Utterly petrified. DISAPPOINTED. How could these people be teaching all this to 5-7 year old kids? 'I hate this story', I thought to myself and re-reading the last sentence a zillion times, desperately searching for a happy ending.
But now that I think of it, I see that its so true, so so so true to my life. God reminded me of this at the perfect time and phase of my life. He wants to tell me that he doesn't want me to end up a fool like Princess Elizabeth who took so much effort, risked her life, sacrificed her riches, converted into rags in order to save the prince, and in the end, the prince turned out to be an ungrateful, narcissistic and selfish who never really cared or loved her. What does Princess Elizabeth gain? Nada. Nothing. It was silly and foolish of her to do so. An unfruitful pursuit.
And what is the lesson I should learn from this? Is to stop chasing after things that are not worth chasing. Stop labouring for things that are not worth labouring for. To stop dreaming void dreams. To stop being a fool by expecting something to happen which is not in God's will and plan, because disappointment will be just around the corner to creep me out.
Girls and guys, you all out there, let's be wise and stop building our castles on clouds or our homes on sandy ground. Lets stop chasing after things and working for the things that won't give us any positive outcome! God wants us to submit to His plan and will. he doesn't want us to be foolish and wearied and miserable like Princess Elizabeth.
I'm so happy now that my teachers taught me this lesson right in my early days and I was not fed with just Cinderella or Snow White.
I think 'The Paper Bag Princess' is the best fairy-tale ever written and thought. Its a story with truth and a lesson, not just mere entertainment for children. Its much, much better than those deceitful happy endings.
I'm not saying happy endings do not exist, of course they do, WITH God its all about happy endings (without God it isn't)
As we delight ourselves in the Lord, He will give us the desires of our heart, we all have an eternal hope and future in Christ.
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