It occurs to me that I’ve never heard of anyone getting to the end of life only to say, “I wish I hadn’t trusted God as much as I did.” But if someone like Henrietta Mears proclaims the opposite truth, I for one want to listen. Maybe it will move me to live my life differently and make choices to make the bigger story around me slightly better than it was. That, it appears, is the greatest evidence of a life well lived.
Embrace Your Part
One could say it was the first recorded episode of The Bachelor. It took place in Persia sometime around 485 BC. This story is found in the only book of the Bible that does not mention the name of God. Instead, much like life, God’s presence is revealed in the actions and decisions of the people involved in the account.
The narrative begins with a Persian king who has deposed his queen and decides to pull out all the stops to select a new one. Women are brought in from all over the land to be given a chance at winning his heart. After the six months of beauty treatments, each young woman will be brought before the king, and the one who wins his approval will be appointed his wife.
Enter Esther, a Jewish orphan girl, who has been raised by her cousin Mordecai. When she is taken to the palace, her beauty ultimately wins the king’s heart. Suddenly this girl is swept from humble beginnings into a much bigger life than she ever imagined hers to be. However, the end of this Cinderella story is only the tip of Esther’s life, because after she becomes queen, her journey comes to a crossroads. A king’s adviser has somehow persuaded the king to sign an edict that would annihilate all Jews, convincing him that their religious customs are a threat to his power. Because Esther was instructed not to tell her origin, the king is unaware his queen is from the group of people he has inadvertently ordered to destroy. When Esther’s cousin Mordecai finds out, he tells her that because of her position, she is the only one who can intervene on the decree.
In a dramatic turn of events, Esther suddenly sees all that’s happened to her as part of a bigger story. Everything that brought her to this moment is placed into a broader turn of events, and she sees that she is here—at this time—for a purpose much bigger than herself. Her beauty, her triumph, and her position in the palace are now seen from a higher view, as she recognizes that everything may have happened to her for the purpose of touching and affecting other people’s lives.