I've been thinking about our trips to Disney World over the last twenty years. The first time we went (it was our first big family trip) was in February 2001. Our kids were 15 months, 4, and 7. We went with extended family and had a truly "magical" time. The second time we went was in 2008, also with extended family and the kids were 8, 11, and 15. It was different, but still great (meal plans were new and fantastic). The last time we went was the day after Christmas 2015. Once again we went with extended family and our kids were "grown" at 15, 19, and 22. My birthday started in Magic Kingdom with fireworks at 12:01 am (how cool that was!) before we flew home that night. With all the Christmas lights and the new Disney wristbands - pretty magical again!
Somehow our trips have worked out to be about seven years apart, and now my children have some vague expectation of another trip in 2022. Hmm...
But for now, I am content to live with memories and pictures. As I do so, I can’t help but reflect on some things I've learned.
- Stay in the park, there are worthwhile perks and advantages.
- It costs, but you definitely reap more than you sow.
- It's not just for kids.
- Bad moods, attitudes, and actions can show up even at Disney - but they go away if you stop and remember where you are.
- If there's a water ride where one person will get drenched - it's going to be me no matter how I try to avoid it. But I lived (both times) to laugh about it.
- It's tiring, but refreshing at the same time.
As I review this list I see some comparisons to being a Christian.
- When I stay in the faith community, there are advantages and perks.
- It's costly (time, emotion, saying no to self, etc.), but I receive far more than it costs me.
- It's inclusive, it's for everyone.
- Being a person of faith doesn't keep me from sometimes having bad moods, a bad attitude, or even making some bad choices - but if I stop and remember where I am, I can recover.
- No matter how much I try to avoid troubles, they're going to come - but I live through them and sometimes even laugh (later on).
- It's tiring at times, but refreshing.
As with all analogies, there are flaws in this one, and I certainly don't want to imply that living in faith is the same as living in a fantasy world (though I am aware there are people who think that's what it is). These are simply thoughts that are encouraging to me.
Disney World in 2022 is sounding pretty good...