Life is a continuing story. As children we liked the stories that ended,
“and so, they all lived happily ever after.”
Isn’t this what we really want to do: to live happily ever after? After
the struggle, after the loss, after the unhappy time?
Happy ever after – the perfect ending to the story. But, in our life story
there are really no endings. What seems like an ending turns out to be a
beginning. It is the conclusion of our one experience; it is the beginning
of a new experience.
We think some situation will never change, that some person will never
change. We want everything, and everyone to remain the same, happily ever
“Happily ever after,” does not mean a static state, does not mean that the
perfect moment, the perfect love, the perfect experience will somehow be
set in time, never to change, to remain always the same forever after. We
live in not only happily ever after, but ever after, ever after, ever
Think of Paul with his great change of heart, his conversion to
Christianity. Certainly, no one who knew him before this would have
expected that he would have lived happily ever after, ever after, ever
after giving loyalty to the cause of Jesus Christ and doing more than
probably any other person to bring the teachings of Jesus Christ to the
Paul said in effect, “The end is just the beginning.” But one thing I do,
forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I
press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ
Most of us think of Dickens’ Scrooge In “A Christmas Carol” as symbolizing
all that is mean and miserly, Dickens said that after Scrooge’s dream of
Christmas past, Christmas present, and Christmas to come, Scrooge changed,
and you could not find a kinder, more generous, happier man in all of
England. Happily ever after, ever after, ever after.
We can live happily ever after, ever after, ever after through every
experience because of God’s gift to us, of a triumphant spirit.
When we are going through a dark experience, we may wonder why, we may not see how we can beat it, or ever be happy again. But the resurrecting
Spirit comes through us, and will not let us give up, or lose hope.
This too shall pass. We shall live happily ever after, ever after, ever
We live lifetimes within lifetimes. We change, and grow; we leave our
outgrowing shells behind, like the chambered nautilus in Oliver Wendell
Holmes’ famous poem. We find our way to light and freedom.
“Build thee more stately mansions, O my soul,
As the swift seasons roll!
Let each new temple, nobler than the last.
Shut thee from heaven with a dome more vast,
Till thou at length art free,
Leaving thine outgrown shell by life’s unresting sea!”
We have many ever-afters in our lives. We go through many overcomings. We
would not have it otherwise, if we really think about it, for life is
growth and change and we want to grow, to change, to be all that we can
be, to fulfill our potential as children of God. We cannot do this
through static living.
Sometimes we resent and resist change that seems thrust upon us. We do
not want to alter the set patterns of our lives. We want things to remain
the same; we want people to remain the same; we think we can live happily
ever after only if nothing changes. But of course, there is change. We
change, life changes, people around us change. We may be trying to meet
life in the same way that we did, say 20 years ago. But we are different
people, with different conditions to meet. We live happily ever after as
we realize this.
If life has gone stale or sour, if we are disappointed in ourselves, if we
do not feel there is much to look forward to, we may fall into
self-destructive ways. We do not like our life; we do not like ourselves.
Consciously or unconsciously we fall into ways that rob us of our peace of
mind, our health, that add to our depression and unhappiness. But always a
happy ever after ending is possible. Always we can begin again.
The fairy tale began, “Once upon a time,” and ended, “and so they all
lived happily ever after.”
Our life is a continuing story that has many once upon a times, many happy
ever afters. Day after day, chapter after chapter, our story unfolds. When
we are going through some difficult experience we may wonder why, we may
wonder if we shall find our way. Looking back on this experience, we see
that it was part of our continuing story, that it too had its happy ever
And so we live happily ever after, ever after, ever after!
– Martha Smock