A quick glance through social media turned into a long squeal. My friend decided to run a half marathon. At Disney. DisneyLAND!
I posted a Facebook reply in three nanoseconds and almost booked a flight on the spot. Why?
Because Disneyland makes me yearn for the Kingdom of God, and Heaven.
Truly, I’m not nuts. Let me explain.
The first time I visited Disneyland I had just emerged from five days of fasting and tussling with God about leadership issues. I was exhausted and wondered how I’d recover.
Enter The Mouse.
I wandered, awestruck, through the park. One man and a large organization, plus a massive supply of imagination and money, created a perfect dream world. Just what my spirit needed. That off-season day there were no tears, no frowns, no trash, no mistakes, no conflict, no worries, no errors, and no hurt, pain or trauma. No mistakes taunted me; tantrums disappeared with hugs from over-sized characters. Perhaps Disney had problems that day, but they stayed off-stage. I did not have to deal with them. Not. Even. Once.
My heart instinctively needed a place where all the bad things disappeared. A place where someone was happy to be with me, and smiles radiated from every window.
My soul reveled in wonder and delight. My brain danced and somersaulted along with my eyes and ears. My imagination tumbled and spun and whirled and clapped along with my hands and my body.
Suddenly I remembered God’s Kingdom, the play, the healing, the laughter. I remembered that God prepared a place (both physical and spiritual) where the ills don’t win, and He wanted to bring that Place, that Kingdom, to invade my world. My head knew all that; I’d prayed and seen healing; I’d worshiped and felt Glory; I’d watched God change death and despair into Life and Hope. But I’d forgotten.
God used a silly Mouse to remind me about beauty and whimsy and color and excitement and joy. No, Disneyland wasn’t His Kingdom, it was a magic kingdom; it wasn’t perfect, but it reminded me of God’s perfection. And if MAN, created in God’s image, could do this with finite amounts of expertise and dollars, HOW MUCH MORE did God create a beautiful, perfect New World for us to enjoy?
For some strange reason, The Mouse rekindled my longing for Heaven, our true home, a place of wonder. No tears, no pain, no trauma… and everyone is glad to be with you. Joy embodied.
What does it take to remind you of God’s Kingdom?