[CINDERELLA]: “I wish… more than anything… more than life… more than jewels… The King is giving a Festival. I wish to go to the Festival. And the ball. I wish.”
[JACK]: “I wish… more than life… more than anything… more than the moon… I wish my cow would give us some milk… or even cheese… I wish.”
[BAKER’S WIFE]: “I wish… more than life… more than riches… I wish we had a child… I wish.”
[JACK’S MOTHER]: “I wish my son were not a fool. I wish my house was not a mess. I wish the cow was full of milk. I wish the walls were full of gold. I wish a lot of things.”
These characters and the othes from “Into The Woods” all have a common problem.
There is something they want they do not have.
Do you feel this way? Is there something you don’t have that you think would make everything right?
A good litmus test to determine whether your desires have become ruling idols is given by Paul Tripp in his book Instruments in the Redeemer’s Hand as having an open hand or cleched fist.
If you are able to hold your desire in an open hand, free to let it go then your desire is in its proper place. But you know your grip on the desire is too tight (clenched fist) if when anyone or anything interfers with keeping you from getting what your want, you turn into a witch!
This is how you see whether you have bought into the fairy tale lie of “Happily Ever After” by getting whatever it is you seek.
The irony of “Into the Woods” is it’s a fairy tale gone wrong. The end doesn’t turn out as expected. The characters do not come out of the woods with all their dreams mets and all is not right in the Kingdom.
Just like in real life! Things don’t always turn out as expected, with all our desires and dreams intact. But God’s kingdom purposes are always bigger and better than our kingdom of self.
The brillance in the message behind “Into the Woods” can be used to examine our own hearts. For just like the Baker and Cinderella and Jack and Little Red, we have a choice in how we respond to our desires.
- Are we going to keep fighting, chasing our dreams and constantly striving for more?
- Will we see how we are trying to fill the God-shaped hole in our heart with something other than Christ? Something that can never completely fill or satisfy?
- When we see our desires ruling us, will we open our palm to accept God’s plan even if it means the death to that desire?
- Even if His plan is met through dissapointments and adversity, can we find joy?
By God’s grace, yes.
But only when we embrace Him as the ultimate Treasure and believe true contentment is found in Him.