When I was growing up, my bedtime ritual always included a fairy tale that started with “Once upon a time...” and ended with the comforting words we all remember: “And they lived happily every after.” As a child of the optimistic 1950s, I dreamed that life might be like that: whatever obstacles, dangers or perils might come my way, in the end, I would live happily ever after.

There were certainly plenty of struggles along the way, but I have to say that things did eventually work out even more happily than I could have imagined, from a career that I love to a wonderful family, including the world’s greatest grandkids. But sadly, for many people, “living happily ever after” does seem like an unobtainable fairy tale. Why is that happy ending seemingly out of reach for so many people?

Of course, there are always factors beyond our control, like health problems and accidents. None of us can ever know if our birthday or Christmas celebration was the last we’ll ever enjoy. We have no way of knowing when it will all end, only that someday, it will (that’s why it’s said that the only certainties in life are death and taxes.)

Well, I can’t help you with your taxes, but I do have a bit of advice that I think will make death less frightening and greatly increase your chances of living “happily ever after.”

For decades, our nation has been focused on personal pleasure. The message drummed into everyone by pop culture is “If it feels good, do it.” It’s fostered a culture of self-centeredness that led to Baby Boomers being nicknamed “The Me Generation.” Today’s young people have been dubbed “iGen” because many are so fixated on self and selfies that even their gadgets’ names all start with “I.” Advertising bombards us with the message that life is all about me and all about now. Such messages of immediate self-gratification may sell products and services, but they cause us to sell our souls if we follow this philosophy to its logical conclusion.

At some point in life, we all experience events that shake up our routine, much like the agitator in a washing machine shakes loose the grime in our clothes. We may not want or enjoy such experiences, but they’re necessary to force us to focus on the frailty of life and the certainty of death. They also force us to begin asking what really matters and why.

If we react to setbacks based solely on what feels good right now, we greatly lower our chances of enjoying a happy future. But if we believe there is even a remote possibility that our actions have lasting implications beyond the immediate, both within and beyond our lifetimes, it should cause us to think differently, live differently, and leave a different kind of legacy.

Without apology, I believe that the spiritual side of our lives really does matter. To believe otherwise is to define humans as little more than animated protoplasm, going through the motions of life for no particular purpose. I prefer to believe there’s more to us than flesh and blood. If we possess a soul capable of living beyond our lifetimes, then the seeds we plant in this life will yield fruit forever. If you believe those things, the ultimate becomes more important than the immediate.

When we decide to live beyond our lifetimes, our responsibilities to the next generation will outweigh our roles in our current jobs. More important than the money we’re paid for our work is what we will become as a result of our work. Our character will become more important than the careers we follow.

For all of us, life began “once upon a time.” Unlike the fairy tales, however, it’s up to us to make the choices that determine whether the last line of our life stories will read, “And they lived happily ever after.”

(Adapted from the book, “Rare, Medium or Done Well: Make the Most of your Life.” https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/168397302X )

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Comments 1-25 of 54

  • RITA PICKETT

    01/13/2020 08:21 PM

    I have Grande Communication in Plano/Frisco, TX area. I can’t get your show on Saturday nights at 7:00 pm on TBN. PLEASE HELP! Thank you.

  • Gregory Hawkes

    12/30/2019 01:19 PM

    I live my life with F A I T H. Forsaking All I Trust Him My Lord & Savior Jesus Christ!

  • Bobbye Denney

    12/29/2019 10:18 PM

    The greatest decision ever made was to follow Christ. I cannot imagine living in this world without the whole host of Heaven on my side. Thank you Governor Hockabee for continuing to tell about trusting Christ.

  • Betty Bowers

    12/29/2019 08:54 PM

    We can all expect to live a happy ever after life if we choose.
    We only have to ask for the Lord to wash away our sins and except him as our Lord and Savour!! No reason why we all can't expect to live happily ever after!

    Love & Blessings,
    Betty

  • Sandra K Tompkins (Starkey)

    12/29/2019 08:37 AM

    Wonderful article Mike! I loved it and will share it!

  • Michael Kroth

    12/29/2019 08:33 AM

    I completely agree with Reverend Huckabee on this piece. I wish he would put this spiritual side at the forefront when considering his unquestioning political support for the current president. Living "happily ever after" means making sacrifices today - for our environment, for our economy (where is our balanced budget), for what will matter dearly for our children and their children. These are matters of national character I would love to see the reverend address in more detail.

  • Vicky Anliker

    12/29/2019 08:16 AM

    Dear Mike,
    I enjoy your commentaries every day on the current events in our country and also the Biblical truths that you share.
    A few years ago I had the privilege of sharing the gospel message with a friend who became a believer in Jesus Christ. A few years passed and one day I received a call that he had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. But as he shared this devastating news with me said “because of that day years ago, I don’t fear the future”.
    In the months that followed, we shared many scriptures.
    I John 2:17 was the verse we read together shortly before his passing.
    “The world and its desires pass away but the man who does the will of God lives forever”
    It’s the storybook ending we’ve all loved . . . and they lived happily ever after!

    Keep the Son in your eyes! Vicky

  • Edward Lester

    12/29/2019 12:19 AM

    It is impossible for us to think of and end to our existence. So many of us just ignore the question. It is, however, an issue that raises it's head at extreme times. Jesus offers us a way out of the last minute rush to repentance. It's a good life and it lasts forever, accept the gift and get it settled now.

  • Charlene Garmon

    12/28/2019 10:13 PM

    I'm positive having learned to be a critical thinker. I will share this song of the church with you called "No Tears In Heaven." No tears in heaven, no sorrows given, All will be glory in that
    land,...There'll be no sadness, all will be gladness, when we shall join that happy band....
    No tears,..........no tears up there in heaven fair, Sorrow and pain will all have flown;....
    No tears ..........in heaven fair, no tears, no tears up there, No tears in heaven will be known.

  • Joyce Birch

    12/28/2019 08:32 PM

    Amen. Great newsletter & thank you.

  • Tetiana Higgins

    12/28/2019 08:24 PM

    I enjoy reading your newsletters and insights to what happens in this nation. I am 51 and grew up in Ukraine, moved to US 12 years ago after my husband passing. I am widowed mother of 4, and my firstborn died 5 days after he was born. Both of my parents, firstborn and my beloved husband believed to be in heaven now. I pray to God every day, go to church and try to raise my kids right. I can say, that I am blessed, but I can NOT say that I am happy all the time. I do not expect to live happily to the rest of my life, because I do not believe that this earthly life can bring us happiness every day, especially when God takes your loved ones away...

  • joseph orsini PhD

    12/28/2019 07:46 PM

    Local governments in CA are being pressured to provide "AFFORDABLE HOUSING" for the increasing homelessness we are experiencing. Given the laws of supply and demand, how much would we need this housing is all the ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS were thrown out of the state? I have never heard anybody bring this up.

  • John Paul McDaniel

    12/28/2019 04:52 PM

    Mike Huckabee..................The time is RIGHT!!!! for you to read "Mystery of The Ages"...........a book authored by Herbert W. Armstrong................You are already an ordained minister............and could assimilate this material very well.............the Philadelphia Church of God offers this book free of charge......."for the asking"..............I hope you will be served for all eternity by reading this book.

  • Trudy Overby

    12/28/2019 04:26 PM

    My heart hurts for people that have no interest in knowing our Lord. My prayer is that Christians will pray for our America and show the love of Jesus to others.

  • Robert McFate

    12/28/2019 03:45 PM

    Good point!

  • Jay H Mohler

    12/28/2019 02:38 PM

    Having a good connection with our Creator is the most important part of our life and everything else is dependent on that connection!

  • babette Freed

    12/28/2019 02:04 PM

    May I send you my articles on "Placing a Band Aid on a Hemorrhaging Wound." March 1, 2011
    and "Today Would have been my grandson's 30th Birthday-instead it is his Funeral."Dec. 18, 2019.
    I write for the South Florida Jewish Journal. I am also a grandmother-
    Please read my thoughts."
    This must stop! We must all do our share in stopping this epidemic!
    thank you.
    fondly,
    babette Freed- 561 499 0348 - [email protected]

  • James Bagby

    12/28/2019 01:08 PM

    Gov. Huckabee; I have a great grandson that is the apple of my eye. He is now 13 yrs old but when he was younger, instead of telling him fairy tales at bedtime, I would tell him true happenings during my life. I was born and raised on a farm and spent most free time hunting , fishing, trapping, as well as regular farm shores. I never had to make up anything because I had very interesting happenings quite often. Aiden was always excited to hear the next story. Happy New Year and GOD BLESS, Jim

  • Nancy A Stucky

    12/28/2019 12:57 PM

    You nailed it. They have even changed grammar to start with I or me. “Me and ____ went...”. We were taught to say, “____ and I...” it shows me is more important than you, which is against Jesus’ teachings. I’m so sad that today “me” is worshiped and not Him.

  • Donald Bowers

    12/28/2019 12:16 PM

    Governor Huckabee, thank you for another excellent essay. It appears that the Federal Dept. of Education has been successful in influencing public schools across the country to indoctrinate students with the notion that the future is only a result of evolution and man-made destruction, that there is no afterlife, thus no need for sacrifice in order to provide a better circumstance both during current life and afterwards. Thanks again, and please keep up your good work.

  • Regina Payton

    12/28/2019 12:10 PM

    Beautiful, and the true meaning of purpose through Christ Jesus.

    Thank you, Gov. Huckabee.

  • Arda Blevins

    12/28/2019 12:03 PM

    I love reading the inspirational articles you print, especially the ones today about the Christmas babies. Sadly, not everyone has such happy memories of Christmas. Since December 26, 1961, I have carried in my Bible a plastic bookmark. At the top, it says "A TRIBUTE published in the pages of THE WAUKESHA DAILY FREEMAN, WAUKESHA, WISCONSIN". Imbedded into one side is an actual newspaper clipping, a funeral notice for my baby girl who died at 8:30 Christmas Eve at the age of 2 months and 18 days. I know when Jesus returns and wakes me from my grave, He will also wake my baby and an angel will place her back into my arms -- but right now, I ache to hold her again, especially at Christmastime. A mother never forgets...

  • Bill Regehr

    12/28/2019 11:49 AM

    It is a choice, isn't it? Just this morning I posted on Instagram on eternal life and the truth of God's word. We can't live eternal life on "bread" or earthly possessions. There is an eternal life and we can have it if we make the choices that God's word tells us about. God bless you, Mike. We may not agree on everything, but we do on most things and this is one of those things that really matter.

  • C Douglas Stram

    12/28/2019 11:39 AM

    The United Methodist Church is badly divided over same-sex marriage, with liberal Bishops and gay clergy continuing to ordain LGBTQAI people and marry same-sex couples. Now: the liberal UMC Council of Bishop's, having lost the vote to change the UMC Book Of Discipline by omitting any reference to sexuality (at the February 2019 global UMC General Conference in St Louis, Missouri), are rejecting the BOD (based the Word of God). I find this liberal ideology has badly divided my country and written to Bishops who have left the spiritual world to join in secular matters they know nothing about. While not being nailed to the cross these Bishops are verbally persecuting President Donald J Trump. I too believe "The spiritual side of our lives really does matter" and have written several Bishops in wonder of what god they worship. As a Christian white male conservative, fearing only the wrath of God, what can I do now (in addition to voting for Donald J Trump in 2020) to stop the vicious hate destroying peace and tranquility in America? I pray that all men be blessed with the wisdom, strength and courage to do God's will. Thank you

  • Kay DeWitt

    12/28/2019 11:37 AM

    Amen, amen, amen, amen....and a million more amens! Your message in this newsletter reechoes my cry to our unspiritual world that the answer to gun violence is not a gun control bill because what AUTHORS violence is not a gun but a heart filled with hatred rather THAN a year filled with Christ's love that is the end-product of KNOWING that there IS a "spiritual side of life!"

    I, too, was a child of the 1950's so I could identify, personally, with all the things you spoke of that were a part OF our childhood....AND what you said about the self-centered...feel good....vision of life's purpose that began to evolve AFTER the 50's is WHY we are now having to deal with the end-product OF that "vision"...or focus....because whereas the end product of a heart that knows the spiritual side of life....because he knows Christ....is a heart that is OTHER-centered (because to be CHRIST-centered is to BE other-centered), the end-product of a heart that does not know Christ IS a heart that is SELF-centered and a heart that is under the influence of Satan...because self-centeredness is OF the EVIL ONE!

    Mike, do you suppose that, just maybe, if a kid who is contemplating killing another kid he might think twice about it if he BELIEVED it just might send him to an never-ending hell of NOT "feeling good"? But our kids don't think twice about it because they do NOT believe there is a hell because they don't believe there IS a real Jesus!

    My indictment against the churches here in Charlotte (and every where) is that.... by preaching the "feel good" message of the prosperity gospel....all they have done is, as I stated before, baptized the American Dream which reaffirms the world's focus on a life that does NOT HAVE "a spiritual side!"

    Since your message in this newsletter is the real SOLUTION TO stopping gun violence, anyone who does not agree WITH your message is a part of the PROBLEM OF gun violence! Period!

    THEREFORE...these churches here that have propagated this "feel good" message of the prosperity gospel are a part of the problem of gun violence that has killed GOD'S kids and the Ray Carruth/Cherica Adams tragedy is but one example of the end-product of this damnable message because BOTH Cherica and Ray sat under prosperity preachers!

    It is BECAUSE the churches here have BEEN guilty of this REAL crime that there was such an injustice done against Mark Harris....and, Mike, I am going to KEEP mentioning this fact IN my comments so more and more people can HEAR it!
    Mike Harris is one of the few preachers here in Charlotte who CAN preach your (HIS) message in this newsletter and, because OF that, will I...as I stated in an earlier comment....do everything in my (His) power to enable Mark to DO this!

    In an earlier comment, I made mention of the fact that Mark Harris was sitting on a "million dollar story" and, even if I do not have the chance to tell Mark, personally, what this million dollar story is, if God leads me TO tell this story, I WILL, even if, by so doing, I may be putting myself in danger....BUT I take seriously the fact that the witness TO His "greater love" is the fact that it is willing to lay down his life for his (HIS) brother!

    In this coming year, may God open more and more doors of opportunity for you to GIVE the priceless message in this newsletter to our dying world ....and may one of those open doors be those of the White House and, after they ARE opened to you, may God give you the grace to do whatever it takes for Him to USE you...and your message (cry)...to not fall in DEAF ears even if it means you have to give your message through tears as you express your willingness to kneel down and wash the feet of your hearers to bear witness TO the fact that your message IS really HIS message and He IS just using you as His mouthpiece!