We are all familiar with the story of the lovely and kind young girl, Cinderella, who lived with her step mother and two, not so lovely or kind, stepsisters.

In the story, the King and Queen, anxious for their son to marry, arranged a Ball, inviting all the eligible maidens from the kingdom to attend. With such a variety of maidens to choose from, surely, one of them would catch the Prince’s eye!

The invitation arrived at Cinderella’s house causing a flurry of excitement. But Cinderella’s excitement was quickly doused by her stepsisters’ snide remarks.

“Cinderella,” they said with disdain, “what are you so excited about? You can’t go. What are you going to wear? That?” With an audible sniff, they turned and walked off..

Days passed, and finally the evening of the ball arrived. The less than lovely stepsisters paraded around in their over-the-top finery, taking great delight in taunting Cinderella. They flounced into their coach and off to the ball, leaving Cinderella behind. Although her disappointment was great, her spirit wasn’t shattered.

Enter one fairy godmother, who, after quickly assessing the situation, transformed Cinderella’s rags into a knock-your-socks-off designer gown, complete with perfectly formed glass slippers. The magic continued as the Fairy Godmother transformed a pumpkin into a golden carriage. Cinderella stepped into the carriage offering a dazzling smile of gratitude and a hug. With a quick reminder that the magic would end at the stroke of midnight (an effective curfew technique) Cinderella was off to the Ball.

Cinderella was enchanting, and quickly caught the Prince’s eye. They danced and danced, caught up in the magic. The chime of the clock announcing the arrival of midnight, broke the spell, and Cinderella quickly fled the Ball before she was transformed back into her rags. The prince chased after her, but found nothing but a glass slipper, the only clue to her identity.

Dejected, he set out to find the owner of the slipper. Visiting every home in the kingdom, he tried the delicate slipper on the foot of each eligible maiden. He finally arrived at the home of Cinderella and her two less than lovely stepsisters. Of course the shoe did not fit either of the step sisters, as you can only imagine that their feet were less than lovely too. Cinderella approached the prince for her turn to try on the slipper. Filled with fear that the shoe might fit, the sisters knocked it to the floor, shattering the only clue to the future princess’ identity. The Prince was filled with a combination of anger and loss, but Cinderella, gently touched him on the shoulder, and pulled out the mate. She slipped her foot in, a perfect fit.

Don’t you just love a good fairy tale? Certainly, this could never happen in real life, you say. Not so quick. There are some important considerations for us in this tale.

Cinderella had taken a lifetime to ready herself for the opportunity at the ball. Each of us is in the same situation – those times when preparation meets opportunity. You may initially scoff at my suggestion that if you make the proper preparations, your prince will come. “It’s just a fairy tale. These kinds of things don’t happen in real life.”

Now I understand that the story of Cinderella is just that – a story. That does not mean, however, that we cannot learn from it. You, too, must find a way to convert your weaknesses into strengths, failures into successes, challenges into opportunities.

Any  rags, pumpkins, or stray mice lying around? 

Let’s look together at the preparations you must make. And by the way, you, too, have a protector – the Holy Spirit – who will help you make the necessary alterations.

Preparing Your Attitude. What is the necessary attitude needed to become a princess? You must have the conviction that you deserve a prince of a man.