Most men (myself included) do not identify particularly well with the story of Cinderella. We do not lie awake at night dreaming of marrying a prince and planning what sort of ballgown we will use to snare our intended. On the other hand, fortunately, it is not necessary for guys to embrace Cinderella stories themselves to embrace the larger significance of them for our lives. For men, after all, there is the myth of “the Hidden Prince” , which is basically the male version of a Cinderella story–someone has a bright destiny but has a hidden and somewhat downtrodden identity that is revealed at the pivotal moment to show the true person underneath all of the abuse and mistreatment. For obvious reasons related to my own life, these stories have a lot of appeal for me. One can endure a lot of suffering and abuse if one knows that one is really far greater than one is treated, and that there will come a day when one’s identity will be known and one will receive the honor and respect one deserves.
Today the second split sermon was given on the subject of the Cinderella story as it relates to believers. In some ways, this was a difficult message for me to listen to, seeing as the speaker seemed to assume that believers would be like Cinderella in starting out with a basic foundation of a good early life to build upon, which is sadly not the case for me or for others. That said, the fact that God did choose us and prepare His Kingdom for us from the foundation of the earth is definitely a good beginning that can counteract much of the suffering that believers have had to endure from the beginning of our own lives. Likewise, we all expect a happy ending. We are promised the happy ending of life eternal in God’s Kingdom if we endure until the end. Of course, there are other happy endings that we would like as well, if God wills it, however much we may wonder if such opportunities will ever come.
The ball tends to be the place where the reveal happens for Cinderella and other heroines of her kind. Today, of course, there was a dance party that was hosted by a friend of mine from a neighboring congregation. It was, to put it very mildly, not a Cinderella moment for me. On the plus side, I did manage to make some new acquaintances, and I managed to avoid dancing with any unsuitable partners (which was quite a challenge), and there were some adorable kids who kept asking me to spin them around, which made me dizzy but also gave me a way to enjoy myself and not be entirely a wallflower. But there was clearly no reveal for me, no romance to be found, only conversation spent among friends and some enjoyable time spent around my brothers and sisters in Christ. Indeed, that is the sort of ball or dance that one would like, a dance that at least provides the possibility of some romance in life. Alas, that is not something that tends to happen to me very often.
What kind of moments will show others who we really are, as we have gained character and poise through enduring the trials and tribulations of life? It is hard to say. Sometimes the moments happen over the course of a life, and after we have passed them, we realize the decisive elements of our existence, the inflection points that pushed our lives in a direction that we may not have recognized at the time. At other times, we know a particular time or situation is of massive importance, and we have to summon the poise and character to handle those well to meet the destiny we have been promised. Is there a darling princess in that future destiny that I work toward? At this point, I am not qualified to say, for while it is clear that the stakes of life are high and there are clearly a lot of plans going on, the end remains unclear. It is my hope that after all has been revealed that it will be a time for celebration and praise and heartfelt joy. I’d like to think I’ve earned it.
 See, for example: