While cruising through our Disney Marathon this weekend, we came upon my favorite Cinderella. As the king’s footmen are going throughout the village trying her glass slipper on all the other damsels; a thought inadvertently popped into my head. “If the shoe fits wear it.”
I’ve been hearing this idiom ever since I was a child. Ironically, the terminology was believed to have originated from “If the cap fits…” It is thought to have been changed to ‘shoe’ as a result of the Cinderella tale. “If the shoe fits wear it” means, that if something said or suggested about a person is true then that person should accept it as true.
That glass slipper was custom made
When I began adding substance to this post it was unclear which direction to take. However, it occurred to me that no one could fit Cinderella’s glass slipper except her. It wasn’t a designer loafer, stiletto heel or Manola Blahnik pump. No, it was much more valuable than a designer shoe. That glass slipper was custom made for her life as with some of you. There are many people with the same shoe size, but not everyone wears the same shoes.
After her father passed away she was demoted to servant girl; by a merciless step-mother who showed her true colors after the fact. But, Cinderella chose Apostle Paul’s approach. Not that she spoke as regards privation, for as to her she had learnt in those circumstances in which she was, to be satisfied in herself. (Philippians 4:11)
…you are holding on to hope…
You may have lost your earthly father or temporarily lost your Heavenly Father and in the process lost yourself. Now you are holding on to hope by a wing and a prayer. But we must be encouraged and remember what the LORD told Jeremiah. “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11)
Cinderella was no longer living in the confines of a luxurious chateau; but with the mice in an isolated creaky, cold tower. She was called Cinderella because the soot covering her from head to toe came from cleaning out the cinders in the fireplace. Probably a constant reminder of her present station in life to reinforce the hopelessness of her circumstances.
Like Joseph, perhaps this was God’s way of shielding her as she went through her trials and tests in preparation for moral elevation to a future of prosperity and happiness. You have to be centered in order to receive the blessings of God and not let the blessings and prosperity change your attitude or your heart.
Julia Roberts said in Pretty Woman,
In her most defeated moment, her fairy godmother appeared, made a way for her to attend the ball, and also brought out her inward beauty. Which even Cinderella found hard to believe. Like Julia Roberts said in Pretty Woman, “The bad stuff is easier to believe. You ever notice that?“
You may not have a fairy godmother, but perhaps a close relative or real friend in your life; who reminds you of who you are in your darkest hour. Thus giving you a direction back to the light at tunnel’s end. Reminding you to hold on to your faith when all else fails. Because at the end of the day, when the smoke has cleared that is all any of us possess; which cannot be physically taken away.
Cinderella’s trip to the ball gave her a preview of what her life could be. Although the elation was short lived, she now had a memento—the key to her future.
Many of us had that sneak preview and then found ourselves right back in the same nightmare. As our dreams appeared to dissipate into an air of hopelessness. And yet, unknown to us, it was our attitudes that determined our altitudes out of that nightmare.
God never stops sending out His love…
The same way the king sent his footmen out to find the wearer of the glass slipper. God never stops sending out His love or His word to us so we can wear our true selves. The mementos he left behind for us were the Holy Spirit and the Holy Bible. “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” (Matthew 6:33) This is the key to our true destinies.
Perhaps some of us need to be covered in ashes. To cover the head with ashes was a token of self-abhorrence and humiliation (Esther 4:3; Jeremiah 6:26, Job 2:8 etc.). A way of showing God the seriousness and commitment of one’s heart. An open expression of true repentance and humility.
Cinderella had a good heart in the midst of a bad situation. Because of that heart and the actions motivated by it; the example she set was as a moral compass whose arrow pointed true North. Or, in essence, showed who she was on the inside; which freed her from the physical prison in which her step-mother so callously placed her.
Even when her step-mother purposely broke what she thought was the only glass slipper, Cinderella was still able to unlock the door to freedom with her tailor-made shoes. She was wise to hold on to her memento. She cherished the time at the ball no matter how short—she was grateful. Sometimes small things can tilt the balance of life. (Zechariah 4:10)
Is your heart motivating you to do good despite your circumstances? Or are you covered in soot and still complaining instead of repenting and thanking God for where you are?
This week’s challenge: Don’t waste your time on discouragement and disappointment. Try using a different and positive approach. It may not work the first, second or even third time. But with persistence, who knows? That persistence just might lead you to the path for which you’ve been looking. (Hebrews 11:6) If the shoe fits wear it.
Definition of “If the shoe fits” from the Phrase Finder.
**Painting “Shoes” in header by Debra Hurd.
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