Our seven year old experienced his first trip to Disney World on New Year’s Eve. We went to visit family in Florida after Christmas and made a quick trip to Orlando to meet Mickey and his friends. If we had realized before we set out on this journey that it was one of the busiest days of the year at The Magic Kingdom, we may have changed our minds! However, we were determined to take advantage of being close enough for a visit and set off for a long day in the park. The morning came early and we were all fighting cold and sinus issues. However, the adrenaline kept us going and the early morning hours were a success! It was an exciting morning with short lines and fun rides. Everyone employed by Disney was extraordinarily helpful and pleasant, even at the crack of dawn. It was nice seeing the morning come to life behind Cinderella’s castle.
When our family rode, “It’s a Small World” before lunch, I specifically noticed a gentleman riding solo in front of us. My heart was saddened for him because he didn’t have anyone to share his ride with that day and I was thankful for our time together. Around lunchtime, the crowds starting picking up and we were starting to wonder if our decision to brave the crowd had been a wise one.
That’s when the true magic happened. I heard my name called across the park. I looked up and spotted some long time friends from our small group. Amazingly, out of all the people and all the parks, we were standing within feet of people that we’ve shared life with. People we’ve shared joys and tears with over the years. Our kids were ecstatic finding friends at Disney. These were friends that we didn’t realize were there at the same time as us. We would never have been able to track down this family amongst the crowd if we had been looking for them. That is when the magic came in to the kingdom for our families.
We rode rides together and sat together and watched two parades and a street party. We all agreed that this surprise encounter made Disney truly magical for our families. As I reflect upon the characters in those parades and see Mickey and Minnie, Goofy and Donald, the Dwarfs and the Princesses, I am reminded that even they have one another. They have companions to share the journey. Truly, living this life fully includes relationships. We can ride the rides solo, but if there is not anyone around to enjoy the ride with us, it seems a little pointless, doesn't it? Who do you share the journey with? Are you in a small group? Have a spiritual director? Participate in bible study? Have an accountability partner or spiritual friends to share life with? If not, let this be the year you open yourself up to share with others. You'll be blessed and you will likely be a blessing. Here’s to making this year magical!
Whitney R. Simpson
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Whitney R. Simpson,
Exploring Peace Ministries, unless otherwise indicated.
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