Once upon a time there was a fair maiden and her prince. They lived in a beautiful castle surrounded by rose gardens. Tomatoes grew right out of the earth, ready for eating. When not frolicking amongst the roses, the maiden toiled at a far off place where they showered her with gold coins just to travel the world and buy gifts for the royals. The maiden loved this work, and the many many coins it provided. Life was good.
The maiden told her prince to stop toiling for other merchants and instead toil for himself so that he could reap all the profit and buy her a castle along the beach as he had done for so many others. Indeed, her dream was that the beach castle should rise so tall that the other castles behind it were put in the shade and could no longer see the ocean and the owners would have to walk around her beach castle to get to the ocean. The prince toiled to make it so.
One day the far off place where the maiden toiled deemed it could no longer afford to shower the maiden with gold coins and she was sent away. Distraught, the maiden and her prince would soon learn that many other places were also reluctant to spend their gold; and one by one the prince’s gold bearers shriveled up or were gone altogether as they themselves ran out of gold. The princess could not find another provider of coin because, truth be told, although she was a fair maiden she was no spring chicken.
Life was sometimes bleak and sometimes scary as the two stayed in their castle each day; although the garden reaped a bounteous harvest from all the care and attention provided by the couple. The couple prayed and prayed to their Lord to provide guidance and help them regain their footing that they could live to be a really old maiden and prince living somewhere other than the streets of the village. They decided to sell their castle, for the profits would sustain them if needed. They then decided to travel far away in order to visit the wise old mother of the maiden and live amongst her family, in a land where the sun is always warm and the ocean is always near. Before they left the village, they met with their church leader who prayed with them, asking that they would find an answer and the answer would be such that there was no way it could be interpreted to be because of the actions of the maiden and her prince, that it would be something that was clearly evident to be due to the hand of God.
Though enchanted by the sun and ocean, the maiden and her prince were still worried about what might become of them. It was on a particularly dark day that the maiden’s fair sister asked the maiden to join her volunteering to help those who were in hard times and needing of food. A piece of scripture was included with each bag of food to be given away that day:
Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these…Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. Matthew 6:25 – 29 34
The maiden was spiritually lifted by helping others and felt that she received far more than she gave that day. The prince and the maiden kept this piece of scripture on their box of provisions so that they might see it every day. The maiden took to heart the scripture and continued to volunteer each week to help provide food for the needy.
One day, out of the blue sky, the prince received a message from a friend of long ago. He desperately needed the prince’s help and there would be a handsome reward at the end. The prince came to the rescue, working long and hard with little sleep, and received gold coins as his reward. The prince and his maiden cried “Hallelujah!” There followed more jobs and more promises of rewards and cheques in the mail, and the prince and his maiden sighed a relief that perhaps their prayers had been answered. Their future looked brighter and their worries were abated.
Afterward, the prince and his fair maiden traveled to meet his timely friend and the friend’s lovely maiden. They dined together and before they parted the friend said:
"I don’t even know why I called you that day. Normally I would have called any one of a number of other people, but when I picked up the phone I ended up calling you. And I don’t know why that was. It was just out of the blue. It was so strange.”
But the prince and his maiden knew. The call was clearly an act not of their doing.
Much later the prince and his fair maiden sat on their balcony watching the sun set over the water, as they liked to do many evenings. The maiden turned to her prince and said in amazement:
“Look where we are! In a tall castle overlooking the water. Others have to go around us to see the water and they are positioned in the shadow of our castle. I think somehow, when we weren’t looking, we ended up in our beach castle.”
And life is good.