Sunday, July 27, 2008

God and Disney World

I just got back from a week long trip to Walt Disney World with my family. I must confess that I had some reservations about going. Everyone we told about the trip said, "It's gonna be hot, crowded, expensive etc, etc." While it was all of those things, what I didn't expect was that it would be a trip that would open my eyes to so many things about myself and God.

On day one I showed up with everyone in tow ready to buckle down and take one for the team. What I quickly discovered was that this trip wasn't about doing my duty as a dad or husband! It was about my kids and our family getting focused on real life again. Fortunately it only took me 15 minutes of being there to see this and the rest of the trip was incredible.

What does this have to do with God? Well it occurred to me that I've been an adult too long. Too caught up in this world and all it's hustle and glitter and useless preoccupations. I'd forgotten how to dream dreams and how to delight in life, in people, in my family and in God. Somewhere along the way I allowed the world to so consumed me that I became WAY too serious and quite frankly boring. Never having any real quality time for the kids or to hang at home because of all the crap I thought was important. But all of the crap was just that...crap!

To stop and watch my children as their eyes lit up in wonder was transforming to could see their child like heart with all it's pure dreams and wonder...not hindered by the cares and worries of the world. It was both inspiring and convicting at the same time. How many times have I doused the dreams and childlike thoughts of my kids with my all important preoccupations of work or schedules or whatever....not now, no time to just be...gotta take care of this first...gosh, kids just don't understand do they? Actually they do.

Today my pastor shared a story that some of you are probably familiar with-
Joshua Bell is the best of the best violinists in the world. An experiment was done in Washington D.C. where he played in a subway station as rush hour pedestrians walked by. Did they notice this musical genius playing his 3.5 million dollar violin? Nope, too busy. But notice who DID notice something worthy of stopping to listen.
Here's a quote from the article-
"A couple of minutes into it, something revealing happens. A woman and her preschooler emerge from the escalator. The woman is walking briskly and, therefore, so is the child. She's got his hand.

"I had a time crunch," recalls Sheron Parker, an IT director for a federal agency. "I had an 8:30 training class, and first I had to rush Evvie off to his teacher, then rush back to work, then to the training facility in the basement."

Evvie is her son, Evan. Evan is 3.

You can see Evan clearly on the video. He's the cute black kid in the parka who keeps twisting around to look at Joshua Bell, as he is being propelled toward the door.
"There was a musician," Parker says, "and my son was intrigued. He wanted to pull over and listen, but I was rushed for time."

So Parker does what she has to do. She deftly moves her body between Evan's and Bell's, cutting off her son's line of sight. As they exit the arcade, Evan can still be seen craning to look. When Parker is told what she walked out on, she laughs.
"Evan is very smart!"

The poet Billy Collins once laughingly observed that all babies are born with a knowledge of poetry, because the lub-dub of the mother's heart is in iambic meter. Then, Collins said, life slowly starts to choke the poetry out of us. It may be true with music, too."

Maybe it's true with the kingdom of God too. All around us are blessings and opportunities, poetry and music and the workings of God's kingdom. I don't want to miss it for the junk in life. I also don't want to be the one to kill my children's ability to see beauty. How many times have I had one of them by the hand and they want to stop to see something only to pull them away because the movie is going to start...God forbid we miss the previews!!! Or what if we don't get a good seat?!?! After all, when you've seen one flower you've seen them all!

This week I hope I learned something that will stay with me forever. Slow down and take in life rather than running through it. I'm sure I've missed so many things that God had for me because I'm so preoccupied...