Miracles In The Magic Kingdom
Originally Posted by Mike Roberto on October 29, 2015
Going to Disney World is not really a place of retreat for many people, but if you know me at all, it could become one for me which is exactly what happened two weeks ago when I made the journey to central Florida.
I had every intention of enjoying myself on this trip. Great attractions, good food, and a comfortable room made all of that possible, but there were two occasions when I had an actual encounter with God.
The first was on Wednesday. I had gone straight to the Magic Kingdom and was making my way back to Main Street when a parade started. Now if you are anything like me and don’t really enjoy parades and you’ve been to Disney World you know that Main Street is not the place to be when a parade is about to start. So I turned around and it hit me.
If you have ever scene photographs of Cinderella Castle it looks quite small, which, in fact, it is. But when you are stand in front of it the castle looks enormous. This is because the Castle itself was built as an optical illusion. I will not go into the construction method here. The Disney imagineers were geniuses and The Castle looks majestic and huge when you stand in front of it. The walls are tall and sturdy and the towers gleam as they soar into the blue Florida sky.
The look of the Castle got me to thinking about The Kingdom of God and the glory and majesty that awaits us when Jesus comes back. C.S. Lewis, the author of The Chronicles Of Narnia and many other books once wrote that we “live in the shadow lands.” What he meant by that is every thing here on Earth is but a Shadow of the things that God has prepared for us. We won’t know the color green until we see what it really is in Heaven, and we won’t know a true castle until we see The New Jerusalem descend from Heaven.
But that’s not all that happened to me at Disney. The next day I went Hollywood Studios. The plan was to get on the great movie ride and and go back to my hotel and maybe use the pool, it was hot the week I was there, and then something stopped me. I did The Great Movie Ride immediately and then I decided to roam around. I found a couple of attractions that didn’t have any lines so I thought, “this is great I’ll do these too.”
As I wondered deeper into Hollywood Studios I found the Attraction I most wanted to see A Man And His Dream. A short film on the life of Walt Disney. I had read that this attraction had been closed or was about to close and I wanted to see it one more time. As you enter the theater there is much Disney memorabilia. But the doors opened fairly quickly and a small group of us went inside. The film is narrated by Julie Andrews and is well done. Of course it is The Disney Version of Walt’s life and therefore the hard parts were removed.
Disney did not have it easy. As a child he was beaten by his father as an adult many things got in the way of his success. The Studio almost went bankrupt more than once. But Disney, ever the optimist worked harder to achieve his goal. In the face of great obstacle he became a success, and was the a true example of The American Dream.
When I left the Theater, I found that my friend Jim had posted and article on the life of Charles Schulz on to my Facebook page. It was then that I left Hollywood Studios and went back to my room. Did I mention it was stinking hot in Fla that week. The temperatures were in the 90s and the humidity was off the charts. I drank more water each day there than I normally drink in a week. And everyday two showers and two shirts were necessary. My shorts could almost stand up on their own with the sweat encrusted into the material. I went back and showered.
After I showered I relaxed on my cool and very comfortable bed. I had dropped the air conditioning to 67 and it was wonderful. I pulled out my phone and read the article that had been posted on Schulz. Schulz was another example of The American Dream coming from true disappointment and hurt at the beginning of his career and ultimately becoming the world’s most recognized cartoonists.
I got to thinking about these two men. Both had come away from difficulties and hardships, and yet both built empires of a different sort. Walt was abused as a child. Schulz dealt with depression almost his entire life and both men made their lives work.
That’s when I felt the still small voice of God speaking to me. I understood that Depression and abuse can become something truly beautiful. The choice is to not live in the pain but to live out of it. Not to wallow in thoughts that could lead to death but to begin to think beyond the pain and to build out of it.
I suffer from sever chronic depression. There are days getting out of bed is impossible the emotional pain is too much. I have thought of suicide more than once, and prayed God would take my life. I didn’t want it anymore. But in that room and in that moment I knew there was a higher calling for me and purpose for the pain. I knew God was speaking to me. Telling me that he wasn’t going to take the pain away, but I was to use it to create. I was to write, to act, to direct, and to feel free to do public speaking. This was what I was created to do and I had not yet even begun.
I came from Disney World rejuvenated and ready to work at what God has given me to do. This blog is one step there are more to come. Is the depression gone? No and it never will. But there is purpose and the possibilities, there are things to do and look at. The colors of my world are brighter now. And alongside depression lives hope.