Every little girl is a princess in her dreams and every little girl's expectation is that a real-life Prince will one day sweep her off her feet to live happily forever after !
But how many girls ever REALLY get a kiss from a real Prince --- and even more rare , refuse it when it is offered ? The sweet little four year old who waited so eagerly for her Prince's kiss and then refused it will never live that down.
We laugh and smile and understand little kids ... we THINK.
I told my daughter this story and chuckled about how this poor girl would have to endure a lifetime of teasing that she had refused her Prince. But my daughter , who is a pre-school teacher/admistrator, immediately replied, "Yes.. I'm sure .. .but she DIDN'T refuse her Prince ! You have to think like a four year old !"
She explained it to me.
The little four year old girl knew exactly what a Prince looked like. Didn't she have many pictures of him in her story books? He wore beautiful clothes with a crown on his head and had a white horse and a gold sash across his chest!
She certainly did not think this ordinary balding man leaning in for a kiss was HER prince. He wasn't a prince at all ! She would hardly have noticed him in the crowd! And so she did the only honourable thing ... she turned away to save her kiss for the REAL Prince.
I thought about this story and recognized the lesson application it portrays for all of us.
We all have them. Maybe we have long outgrown our dreams about riding off into the sunset with our Prince, but we only exchanged them for other preconceived ideas that could - just like it did for the four year old - keep us from the very thing we want!
The Jews had preconceived ideas -- and they did not recognize their Prince either ... their Messiah! They expected Him to look like a King on a white horse not a servant on a donkey's back! So, they turned away from Him.
Judas had preconceived ideas -- He thought that Jesus would conquer the Roman Empire and set up an earthly kingdom with Himself as supreme Ruler. Reaching for the wrong kingdom, he missed the real one !
Simon, the Socerer, had the preconceived idea that money and fame satisfied as nothing else. Surely even the things of God could be bought for the right price! His preconceived ideas cost him eternity.
The apostles preconceived idea was that God only loved the Jews ... the gospel surely couldn't be for the unclean Gentiles ! It was hard for them to get past that deeply engrained belief and accept that God was creating for Himself ONE people -- Jew and Gentile - a kingdom of all tribes and nations.
If you passed Jesus on the street would you recognize Him? If you hear His truth, does it sound familiar ? or is it contrary to your preconceived ideas and so you reject it.
Every choice/decision we make, every thought we think is based on pre-conceived ideas. Pre-conceived ideas form our grid that filters all incoming information. If our pre-conceived ideas are based on truth , then we have a firm foundation, but if they are wrong we could be in trouble.
Scripture teaches us to be diligent to test and examine and discern all things... never taking for granted that we have everything right.
Even reading the bible, we can miss the truth because of our preconceived ideas - ideas we have long held but never checked out for ourselves.
For many years, my prayer has been before I study my bible ... "Please remove from my mind all pre-conceived ideas, and let me see Your truth!"
"There is a way that seems right to a man ...". Prov. 16:25
The wisdom and thinking of this world may seem right .... but we are called to bring all our pre-conceived ideas, into question that we may renew our thinking to bring it into line with God's thinking, aligning with His truth.
"And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God."