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Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Spinning Wheel Safety

In the fairy tale Sleeping Beauty, Aurora is a princess charmed from birth. Her parents invite fairies in the kingdom to a party, and the fairies give her wonderful gifts: beauty beyond compare, a sweet disposition, a singing voice that sounds like an angel's, and so forth.

Right before the last gift is given, the party is crashed by the wicked (always wicked) fairy who wasn't invited. The wicked fairy then gives her gift: On Aurora's 16th birthday, she will prick her finger on a spinning wheel spindle, and die. Cackling, the wicked fairy exits the hall.

The final fairy explains that she cannot take away the spell, but she can soften it: Aurora, instead of dying, will fall into a deep sleep until the enchantment is dissolved.

Aurora's father is understandably not pleased with this turn of events, and gives the order that all spinning wheels must be destroyed: no spinning wheels in the kingdom. You know the rest of the story -- On Aurora's 16th birthday the wicked fairy sets up a room in the castle tower, and entices Aurora to visit. She is spinning, and Aurora who has never seen a spinning wheel, touches the spindle and...

Well, you know.

I know this is a fairy tale, but it always annoys me. Why, says I, didn't the King (Aurora's father) simply teach Aurora spinning wheel safety? Aurora, listen. This is a spinning wheel. They are very dangerous for you because of this enchantment that was put on you when you were a baby. Don't ever touch one, especially not this pointy thing here. Don't be fooled, my dear.

Then again, I shouldn't be so hard on dear old Dad; after all, don't we all live our lives this way? There is a danger of which we may be vaguely aware, either for ourselves or for others, but we'd rather banish any thought of that danger, and therefore stay acutely vulnerable because acutely unprepared.

One of the scariest passages in the Bible to me is when Jesus describes the final judgment:

Not everyone who says to Me, "Lord, Lord," will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. Many will say to Me on that day, "Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?" And then I will declare to them, "I never knew you; depart from me, you who practice lawlessness." (Matt 7:21-23 NASB)

I read out of this passage that many people may THINK they're OK, when in fact they're not. I know many people who seem disinterested in talking about what happens after you die.

Have you thought about this? Are there even any reliable places to get answers?

I was amazed as I investigated the historic circumstances surrounding Jesus' death --> the evidence, small pieces that had to be hunted and meticulously fitted together, amazingly demonstrated to my satisfaction that Jesus indeed rose from the dead. Therefore what he said was reliable, and so on and so forth. This took me a year to investigate, and the final results blew me away.

Think about these things: don't be like Aurora's father.


Anonymous said...

Amen, Sister. What a neat way to look at this.

Travis said...

Ah, I think you've hit upon something here. "Acutely vulnerable because acutely unaware." Brilliant thought. As a father, that challenged me. How often do I take time to explain the dangers of the world to my children? All too often, I'm satisfied with, "Don't go there, or don't do that" when I should be explaining WHY. Thanks, Amy. I will try to correct that small error in my parenting.

Lydia said...

I used to think the same thing about Sleeping Beauty's parents. Why didn't they warn her? But reading your summary of the fairy tale as a Christian now, I see it wouldn't have made a difference.

Just as Eve ate of the forbidden fruit after God warned her she'd die if she ate it, Aurora would have given into temptation, disobeyed her father and touched the spindle, anyway.

Prince Charming in many, if not all of these fairy tales, is a type of the Lord Jesus Christ. Rescued, redeemed, quickened by His love!

KM Wilsher said...

What a powerful post! Thank you, Amy.

Rosslyn Elliott said...

Great post! It reminds me of one of my favorite spirituals, which was one of the code songs that slaves sang in antebellum America:

Everyone talkin' bout heaven ain't goin' there--heaven, heaven!
When I get to heaven gonna put on my shoes
Gonna walk all over God's heaven!

When you understand who was singing this song, the lyrics about excluding some big-talking, no-walking Christians from heaven suddenly seem quite justified.

Rosslyn Elliott said...

I just tagged you. See Inkhorn Blue for details! :-)