Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Of Mice and Men

My family and I had a magical time Disney World earlier this month. It was the first time for our kids, who are now 10 and 13 years old. For our first day, at the Magic Kingdom, the weather was pleasant, the crowd was smaller than we expected, and we were blown away by the quality of everything.

When we first walked down Main Street USA, we could see Cinderella’s Castle, and we could hear the songs and dialogue of a live Disney show. As we made our way to the castle, we could see the performers on stage at the foot of the building. It was like dropping into a Broadway show, outside.

I was most impressed with the audio, because you could hear the show clearly from the other end of Main Street, about a quarter of a mile away. It was clear, intelligible and just the right volume. As we got closer, the sound was just as clear and never got too loud. How do they do that? I could not even find the speakers (at first).

Well, the rest of the day was amazing, too. The rides were fun, the waits mostly short, and we got to take it all in. We even saw Capt. Jack Sparrow teaching 5-year-old boys to outwit pirates.

Throughout the day, I kept noticing the references to dreams, wishes, magic and believing. “When you wish upon a star/ Makes no difference who you are…” Looking around, I kept seeing the evidence of wishes and dreams coming true. The shows, cast members (Disney employees), displays, rides, stores—they all were full of joy. How could they create such an environment of total bliss? OK, there were some less-than-perfect parts of the experience, but I willingly suspended my disbelief.

With a purely humanistic paradigm, Disney has created a place where kids and families can come for a once-in-a-lifetime experience. They did that for us. But they do that 365 days a year. They keep up the quality, the energy, the enthusiasm. And they do this with mere human willpower.

Now, imagine if we could dream the dreams of God, not Walt Disney. If we could share the love of Jesus, not Mickey Mouse. If we could pray, not wish; if we could be full of the Holy Spirit, not sprinkled with pixie dust; if we could trust Providence, not fate.

Imagine if God got a hold of our creativity. What dreams would he bring?

God would have us do more than show people a good time. He would have us show his love, redemption, healing, restoration and forgiveness. He would have us show the world how glorious, perfect and righteous he is. He would bring his joy to all who will believe. He would do amazing works in families, marriages, communities and nations. His work will make Walt Disney’s seem Mickey Mouse.