What I Learned From Disney World

My family just got back from our holiday to Disney World. It is a magical (yeah, I said it) place for us.

The thing we love about going to Disney is how you can lose yourself in a whole new world (yeah, I said that too).

Disney does an amazing job in the little things so that you feel no worries for the rest of your days (okay, I’ll stop).

But on this particular trip I noticed some things. I learned four very important lessons from Disney that translate into our life in Christ and the Church.

1) Disney is said to be the happiest place on earth. But even in this blissful place you will put in some hard work. There is lots of walking, dealing with lines, pushy parents and the always unpredictable children. But people are willing to go through the pain for the joy that follows.

If we are willing to go through all of that to rides some rides and get some “characters” to sign our books, then why are we not willing to go through the same hardships in Christianity, with the church, in our relationship with God?

No one blames Disney for all the walking they have to do or for their kids throwing temper tantrums. It’s just seen as part of the journey we are on as we venture into the beautiful world of Disney.

Why then do we blame God when things go wrong, or life gets hard? Instead of just looking at it as part of the journey we are all one as we go through this beautiful world God has created.

I am not trying to undermine hardships or pain or trials. Rather, I want us to see the grand perspective that God is making things right again and we are a part of that beautiful restoration process.

2) Disney provides the illusion of happiness and so we give off that same illusion.

Now I’m going to burst some bubbles here. Disney is not really the happiest place on earth. I know that might have been hard to hear. Go ahead and stop reading here, grab a tissue and then come back. The magic of Disney is it’s ability to create (or manipulate, depending on how you see it) an emotion.

I saw family after family, fighting and screaming at each other. I saw kids crying and throwing fits. But when someone asked them how they were doing without fail and with a big smile on their face, “We are doing great! We are having the best time!” Or the camera man who pull up for a picture and in 0 to 60 seconds flat the family would put on big smiles (or at least the parents, kids have the ability to show true feelings) and then the minute the camera was down, they would be back to fighting.

We are like this in the church. We would rather give the illusion of happiness then let people really know that we are hurting, we are tired, we are angry, we are sad. But even in the happiest places on earth all those things can happen.

What would be so wrong about just showing our true feelings? What if someone out there could make our days better if we just let them know how our days were really going? Maybe we would see the love and healing of the world happen more often if we did.

3) Going to places like Disney are better done in community.

I love to ride big roller coasters but my family does not. So before they joined me in Florida I spent a day at Universal Studio & Adventure Island. It was amazing in the aspect that I could go from ride to ride and as a single would wait no more than 5 minutes each time. Time of my life right?

Wrong! It was fun at first, but then you realized you had no one to enjoy the day with. You ultimately were alone among thousands of people. What I wanted more than anything was to have my family there with me to enjoy the experience. There was nothing greater than watching Rylee’s face while riding Soarin’ or having Gavin ask if we could ride the Peter Pan ride over and over again. Sharing in their joy made everything worth it.

The reasons being, we were made for community. We were made to share in the joys of the journey with other people. So many of us want to go through life alone because we think it will be faster or easier. But ultimately it is nothing more than lonelier.

God has designed us for community and when we do not have it we feel like something is lacking. But when you have someone along with you for the journey you get to share what you are finding along the way (like riding the new Harry Potter ride, which was fantastic! Thanks for asking!)

4) Sometimes we have to help people along even when they don’t want to come, because we know the joy and the reward they will have.

On one of the days we were to go to the park, Gavin woke up, well cranky! He was tired and a little spent. All the poor guy wanted to do is stay at home watch cartoons and play legos. He had a breakdown. But this was also a big day for us to see some things at Magical Kingdom we were waiting for and to have a dinner in the castle with the Princesses.

Gavin needed to be shown the way. We knew what fun he would have when he got there, but he couldn’t imagine it, so we had to help him along the way to get there. And once there, he had a great time like we knew he would.

In life God has desires for us and He knows the reward at the end of the journey. We don’t always want to go. Sometimes we just want to stay home and watch TV and play with our “toys.” But God knowing better get’s us up and pushes us out the door. He knows that we can’t imagine it, so He gets us to the reality of it all so we can see it with our own eyes and experience it with our owns hearts. He knows that the end is worth the journey.

Anyway, those are just a few things I learned on my holiday this year.

What did you learn on your last vacation?

2 thoughts on “What I Learned From Disney World

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