We all stood there. Faces upturned. Watching explosions of color across the sky, which is honestly nothing more than light and sound around a pile of rocks, yet all of us stood and watched in awe. Not just the kids, but grown ups too. Though we have been kicked out of Neverland and transformed into CEO’s and parents and tax paying adults, we all still stood staring at the sky.
And I couldn’t ignore the pull on my heart. The pull towards Heaven.
Disney World is a crazy place. Why do people do it? Why do they travel thousands of miles to a destination that is really little more than a theme park? What is it that Disney Word offers to mankind that no matter your culture, no matter your country, you can’t deny the magic of those fireworks around that castle?
They offer us the chance to climb inside the fairy tale. In every building and with every character and with ever etched detail of that castle they whisper to us that it is possible to escape our land of suffering and pain and mundane madness and find ourselves in another world altogether. They are tugging on the hope of every human heart: there is a place where happily-ever-after reigns.
What a sign post it is, that people flock to that park. What an indicator of the truth that we were made for such a place. If we would listen to the songs fairytales prompt our souls to sing we would find ourselves pointed to Heaven.
“Fairytales move us in a way that realistic fiction does not (and can not)… [They] speak to us of several deep human longings that we are almost afraid to admit and that we can never discard. We long to survey the depths of time and space. We long to get outside of time altogether and escape death. We long to hold communion with other living things, like angels. We long to find a love which perfectly heals and from which we can never depart. And we long to triumph over evil finally and totally. When you are in the middle of a great fairy tale, the fairy tale lets you live even briefly with the dream that love without parting, escape from death, triumph over evil are real and realizable. That’s why the stories stir us so deeply. And why we will go on reading and writing them no matter what the critics may say” – Tolkien
If you want, you can turn off the Disney movies so that your children don’t get ‘false ideas about love’ but know this: the ideas in these stories – the concept of a love that heals, never ends, where every need is met, nothing is lacking and no heart is left longing – that is NOT a a false idea of love. That is the description of the only True Love we were made for.
Everything else is a shadow, an imitation that falls short – not because our definition of love is wrong – but because our perception of where that love is found is wrong.
If you want, when you reach the last page of that storybook, remind remind your children that there is no ‘happily ever after’ but know this – the happily after that your children long to climb inside – a happily after that never ends or fades or gets old or worn or annoying – that is the destination we move towards in Christ. That is where we are being carried by the Holy Spirit.
Look up at the fireworks and hug the princesses and look at the faces of those around you who long to climb into another world, and fan the flame of that desire, setting your mind on the magical kingdom that awaits those who will be called faithful and true, who will stand in awe and gaze at His glory forever.