Disneyland: Who Has Bewitched You?

Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” 1 John 2:15

As a child of the 50’s and now entering the 6th decade of my life, I looked forward to ringing in this new and exciting decade by going to Disneyland. To walk down Main Street U.S.A, to hum ” Zip-a-dee-doo-dah, zip-a-dee-ay, My, oh my, what a wonderful day.” Watching actors dressed like Mary Poppins, Snow White, Goofy walking around, posing for pictures with whomever. Banjo music, barber shop quartets and John Phillip Sousa type bands marching while Mickey, Goofy, Donald, Snow White, Alice and the Mad Hatter are skipping down the streets, waving to the children and smiling.

But wait! Mickey head is now like a jack-o-lantern? Donald Duck dressed as a vampire? Pluto wearing a skeletal costume? This was not what I imagined Disney to be…”So different now from what it seemed..Now life has killed the dream I dreamed.” (Les Miserables)

Imagine the excitement of a young child and parents looking forward to their first trip to Disneyland and only to find Main Street, USA decked out for Halloween. What kind of impression did they leave Disneyland with?

A young child nearby me asked his father “where is Mickey Mouse” even though, Mickey wearing a pumpkin head, was no more than 15 feet away. The father responded, very slowly, “we’ll find him before we leave.” I told the father that I did see ‘the real Mickey’ at the pier, in a gazebo, not far from the smoking section. The father smiled, thanked me and headed in that direction.

I didn’t come to Disneyland for ‘scary things.’ I wanted a day or two to leave the world of Sarah Palin, natural disasters, scandal, and traffic. I found myself unable to retreat from the world; the world broke through the gates of Disney.

As I walked down Disney Main Street, I thought on how the world (and I) can be deceived so easily. The Greek’s defined the word deceit as ‘bait.’  Paul wrote to Timothy that “evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived.” (2 Timothy 3:13). I blogged recently on how some church pastor’s push their own books and agenda instead of God’s word; the Bible.  Cleverly masked amongst the crowds, Satan’s deception is alive and well.

Don’t let me be misunderstood–I wasn’t dragged screaming and crying into Disneyland. But isn’t it true when we “wish upon a star” on how things can and should be, but becomes something else, we are left a bit disillusioned? No matter what age, Disneyland can be and is great fun. But it is of the world and the things that I thought were good for me and were of this world have not done me well. They never lived up to the expectations I dreamed.

With Christ, I’ve never been disappointed. In Joshua 23:14, Joshua is in the midst of his farewell address. He knows he will die soon and says: “Behold, this day I am going the way of all the earth. And you know in all your hearts and in all your souls that not one thing has failed of all the good things which the LORD your God spoke concerning you. All have come to pass for you; not one word of them has failed.”

During the flight home, I looked down to the earth from the airplane window, and thought back of my years on this earth and concurred with Joshua; God has not failed me. Not once. My failures and tears were when I trusted the world for happiness, security and love. If grandchildren enter my life, I will bring them to Disneyland. We will walk down Main Street and look out for Mickey and the rest of the Disney gang.

But not in October.