Growing up, I was a TV and book junkie. I loved watching various types of movies and reading books all day long [I wasn’t really interested in going outside…well…until I was of age to comprehend that boys were actually not as stupid as I had previously thought, and that some of them were cute and could hold a conversation. Unfortunately, these types were and are a bit too limited for my liking, but I have digressed]. My favorite movies and books were set in different eras, especially times before electricity, running water, cable and cassettes […look how I just aged myself, half of you may not even know what a cassette is]. No matter the variation within the plot, character or jurisdiction, there was a common thread that ran through many of the stories that I found interesting.
I was not interested in most fairytales as I found them unrealistic, and depending on someone else to rescue me and save me – that just did not make sense to me. I mean think about it, what if the prince for Snow White had gotten lost, would she have had to stay with that piece of apple all up in her throat for years and years just because the dwarfs never learned the Heimlich maneuver? And what if Rapunzel had dry hair and split ends? Does that mean that her prince would have ripped her hair and never got to climb up to her window?[Pause people…if you choose to read these stories to your kids, please, I beg you, explain to them that they shouldn’t be taking food from strangers or letting boys climb up into their windows – there is just something twisted about fairytales].
I preferred stories that made me root for the heroine, the family or whoever the main character was. I saw the struggle and I could see when the decision was made to not give up and try/work hard. They had to depend on their own sweat, tears and working hard to achieve their goals; whether this meant getting the crops planted and harvested, building a home, taking care of their families, winning the heart of their love interest, even defending their villages/towns from outsiders or who ever played the villain’s role. You see, we live in days and cultures today where this has become a foreign concept.
I am not even going to try and sit on a throne and judge anyone here. I have been/I am guilty of seeing this as an extraneous concept too. I understand the desire to live a microwave life, where we just have to put in the prepackaged work and get great results in thirty seconds. We would love our children to grow up to be wonderful and happy people, but we would prefer to miss the potty training period, the terrible twos, the test your faith teenage years and the semi-lost early twenties. Many parents would be happy for even a button just to get through the nights when you realize that the child that came out of you is slowly resembling you. And knowing what your thought process was at that time, you would pay a million dollars for that microwave button.
But a prepackaged and microwaved life does not just resonate with parents. It is also true with careers, relationships (friend/family/romance), finances, spiritual growth [Oh yes…I said it…Everyone wants to be the bishop, but nobody wants to be the usher. Everyone wants to be the CFO, but no one wants to be the cashier]. And this relentless rush to achieve and the unwillingness to put in the time, sweat and tears can only lead to an outwardly sparkly but internally low quality and short-term life. For example, anyone who knows me, knows that I don’t like to exercise. Yes, it is true…I don’t. For years I was blessed with a metabolic rate that allowed me to consume massive amounts of food and not gain an ounce. After two kids and being about to enter the fourth decade of my life, my metabolic rate is now a traitor and I have to make life changes. Yes, I would love to press a microwave button and have what I want without the work. But without a magical wand, I doubt that is going to happen. Thus, hard work must come in. Am I happy about it? No. But as an adult, I have to leave fairytales behind me and do what’s best for my physical and emotional health [You will be surprised how what you eat, combined with a lack of exercise, can affect your overall life].
However, this is not just going to have to be a health thing. I can have the healthiest, tightest body, but if I do not get and keep my mind right, and cleanse my environment [physically and spiritually], then it makes no sense. You see, taking a well-cooked steak – one that has been marinated, grilled and covered with tasty sauce – then dropping it on a cracked up dirty plate, surrounded with poisonous mushrooms and decaying and funky vegetables makes no sense. You are not going to eat it. You know from sight, smell and basic common sense, that poison and decay has no place entering into you. Well this is how I feel about life in general. If you take the time to focus and clean up one part of your life, you need to take equal or more time and effort to clean up and polish the other aspects of your life. Because if you don’t, and you try to do a quick fix on the other areas, they are going to stink up your whole plate. Being a great and wonderful person to your coworkers and associates, yet not showing love to those suffering around you – you will stink. Posting pretty pictures of you and your loved ones on social media, but not taking time to tell and show them that you love them – you will stink. You are going to have to clean from within to work on both the internal and external. It’s not going to be a quick fix. Anything that is of real value is never quick. But if you are willing to put the work in to clean up your act, grow the things within you that need to be developed, and let your faith marinate throughout your life, I promise you that you will end up with something much more enticing and long lasting than the microwavable life you may have been living before.