We walk through the gate, hand-in-hand. It’s our fortieth anniversary, we’re celebrating by returning to where I first realized I loved him. Disneyland, the Magic Kingdom. It promises a world of wonder. To be a place where everyone who’s young at heart thrives. Where dreams come true. It claims you enter with a spring in your step and a smile on your face. Just the thought of spending a day in the Magic Kingdom causes you to twirl and dance.
And we come here for a little of that. Time to enjoy each other. Reflect on forty years of laughter woven in with mundane and some sorrow. As always for me, Disneyland lives up to its hype. We enjoy a barbershop quartet while licking ice cream cones for lunch. Chat with the artist who deftly cuts our silhouettes adding to the ones we already have of our two daughters and three grandchildren.
We reminisce about the tomato I accidentally squirted in Van’s eye during our date forty years ago, Van continuing to insist I did it on purpose. All throughout the park, we hold hands. It is magical.
For a few hours.
When I walk back to the car, feet aching, there are new memories to cherish. But the magic of Disneyland doesn’t follow me into reality. Disneyland, with all its magic, is temporary. Its happily ever after is a fantasy I can’t bring home in a souvenir bag.
Once I step back into the reality of bills to pay, teaching seventh grade, meals to plan and cook, never-ending-laundry, I look back at the magic and wonder how to get more.
The answer is not the fantasy of Disney’s magic kingdom, but to live fully in the eternal Kingdom-a Kingdom not of this world. The Kingdom of God.
God’s Eternal Kingdom
God’s Kingdom promises hope, joy, peace. Fellowship with God. Everyday. Not just the days I can scrape together some extra money and a few hours, to get lost in a fantasy world.
All those things Disneyland offers for a few hours-a spring in my step and a smile on my face, twirling and dancing at the thought of spending a day in their magic kingdom-is an eternal reality in the Kingdom of God.
The question becomes: do I live like it? Am I so tied up with my day-to-day to-do lists and circumstances that I only see what’s in front of me? Or do I live like I am in the Presence of the King?
If I live in the Kingdom of God, the spring in my step is constant-because of the hope I have in Christ. There is a smile on my face-because I am a child of the King. My joy isn’t dependent on my circumstances, but on my Savior.
I pray the familiar words,
Father, Your Kingdom come, Your will be done, as I fix my eyes on the eternal, the hope and joy I have in You. Thank You that You loved me so much You gave Your Son that because I believe in Him I have eternal life. Help me today to seek Your Kingdom and Your righteousness. For Your Kingdom has the power and the glory forever and ever. Amen.