While living in Florida, I was introduced to the world of Mickey Mouse by a fellow teacher who loved everything Disney. With her “cast member” connections, we had a truly “magical” experience: a room at the Contemporary, breakfast at Chef Mickey’s with the characters, oh-so-easy transportation to the parks on the monorail, a waste-no-time tour to rides and shows all over the Magic Kingdom and Epcot, a parade, and dinner at one of my favorite countries in the World Showcase. — There’s nothing quite like having an “expert” for a guide!
In my early 20’s, I could finally say, “I have been to Disney World!”
– Done. Check that off the bucket list.
I thought I saw EVERYTHING, and we were only there ONE day.
Little did I know.
Years later, when one of my brothers was getting married in Orlando, Handsome and I took our kiddos to Disney World. I had “been there” before; so I “knew my way around”.
We had a wonderful time “wandering” around the Magic Kingdom.
We meandered down Main Street, saw the show in front of Cinderella’s Castle, road a carousel, watched a parade, freaked-out our 2 and 4 year old at the Haunted Mansion (what were we thinking???), and some how found the Tomorrowland People Mover and Jungle Cruise.
We had a wonderful time, but…
What a different trip it might have been if I had taken a look at a map before we set out on our leisurely, or should I say aimless, laps around the hub of the Disney World wheel!
As I compare our album photos to the park maps I received in the mail, it is obvious that we barely left the area immediately around Cinderella’s Castle.
I don’t know if “The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh” or “Peter Pan’s Flight” were around back then, but I bet my kids would have preferred that to the “Haunted Mansion” (I gotta’ blame Handsome for that one: “There’s no line, Honey, come on! It’s Disney! How scary can it be? It’ll be fun!”). — And, how, in the name of Walt Disney, did we miss “It’s a Small World”?
We did have a fabulous time, but everything we did (or didn’t do) was hit or miss.
I’m really not trying to sell you on a trip to Florida with all these Disney posts; instead, I hope you’ll be sold on developing a teachable spirit that is attentive to the LORD, who speaks in every season, in every challenge, through every single blessing of life.
Many Christians were introduced to the Kingdom of God by someone who loves everything “Jesus”. They were impressed; convinced even. They accepted the invitation and took the tour given by the “experts” who knew all the “Kingdom secrets”.
-Check! Done that. Now, get back to living life.
Every now and then they make a trip back; heck, they want the kids to experience it too. They’ve done the spiritual thing before. They know God; so they can wing it, be flexible aka “spirit led”; after all, who wants to be legalistic, right?
Oh, what they are missing!
A decade later, in stark contrast to the previous visits, I’ve spent hours looking over lists of attractions, previewing rides on youtube to be sure they wouldn’t be too scary for sensitive Little One, planning our route on maps to avoid extra miles of walking, booking dinner reservations, and in no way do I feel limited by all this “study”. It has only heightened my anticipation!
Rather than feeling tied down, my eyes are open to the possibilities. My Park-Hopper Tickets are already paid for. Everything at all of the Florida parks are mine for those days! But I can only take advantage of all the perks (Magical Express pick up at the airport, complimentary resort transportation by bus/boat/monorail, admission to countless shows/rides/attractions, character wake-up calls, “first visit/celebrating/birthday” buttons, and so many other “extras”…) if I know they are there.
Sweet Friend, become a “Seeker”.
“His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.” 2 Peter 1:3
Regardless of how long you have been attending church, there is sooooooo much more to your God than you have heard and seen. No matter how many times you have read the Scriptures through, there is infinitely more, much, much more to know.
It is not a burden to seek. It is not an item to “check off” on a daily “to do list”. It is the wonder of finding that stirs the delight to dig deeper, go further, climb higher, and explore the incomprehensibly-knowable Imagineer of the Universe.
- So much more than forgiveness of sin and salvation from Hell was given to you by the Father in Christ: spiritual gifts, the fruit of the Spirit, an inheritance, eternal rewards, countless promises, an understanding of the times, certain hope for the future, discernment, intimacy with the Father, prayers answered, timely words of life and encouragement, a heart at rest with peace that passes all understanding, contentment, genuine fellowship with a family of saints, unconditional love and acceptance, freedom from a list of laws and condemnation, liberty from all the evils that enslave, real joy that lasts beyond momentary happiness, and I could go on and on and on… and I will as long as the LORD allows me to keep writing.
Don’t be a spectator, sitting on the curb of the Kingdom of God watching a religious parade going by. Get out there and discover what is yours! And, don’t wander around aimlessly, ignorantly, discouraged and defeated. Let the Holy Spirit be your “expert guide”. Read, study, pray, and seek to claim in excitement the “bonus perks” that God has promised those who earnestly seek Him.
With all humility, I say with Paul (only rearranging his words a bit), “brethren, join in following my example, and observe those who walk according to the pattern you have in us.” (Phil.3:17) “Not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect, but I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus. Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. … if in anything you have a different attitude, God will reveal that also to you; however, let us keep living by that same standard to which we have attained.” (v. 12-16) “…that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death; in order that I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.” (v. 10-11)
FYI – Did you know that Disney offers a “Keys to the Kingdom Tour”?
Even after you think you’ve seen everything, there is a behind the scenes tour that takes you to underground tunnels and more. (Talk about “Hidden Mickeys”!) — There’s a parallel here for you, Seeker. Check out what Jesus said about giving “the keys to the kingdom” (Matthew 16:19). Yes, Dear One, there is oh so much more going on behind the scenes than meets the eye!