It’s called the happiest place on earth. A brand that children buy into with gusto.

It’s all about the Mouse. Disney World has made itself a destination that is identified by a pair of ears. People save for ages to spend time in the Magic Kingdom. The vacation of dreams.

When my daughter and son-in-law went with their two children, it was a time of fun and fantasy rolled together with princess enchantment. Brooklyn, at almost 4, is enamored with all the princesses. She has autographs and pictures of herself being held in royal arms.

It’s often the case, however, that families will push and stay to the bitter end. The investment of time and money weighs heavily, and getting the biggest bang for the buck seems essential.

Kids don’t always have staying power. Little ones fall asleep and miss sights and sounds that impact their siblings. If older children become exhausted, fun turns to frantic as they have no energy to keep going. And yet want to. No amount of coaxing can make up for rest. Then the happiest place on earth soon becomes the one place you want to leave.

The tension begins.

One more fast pass awaits. It’s the one ride you’ve wanted to go on all day, and the only available times were later in the day. Desire versus sanity. Do we take our kids home and call it a good day as is? Or do we push everyone and go on the one ride that was going to make this day memorable for you?

Personal disappointment versus caring for the kids. Being a good parent or fulfilling personal dreams.

What seems small and incidental can loom like a guilt-bearing intruder that snuffs out all joy in the process.

Can there ever be too much of a good thing?

This is our struggle. The tension between doing what is right and good but often not what we really want to do. I’ve got reports I need to run for a few presentations. I have to focus–these are good things. When I get tired, which is daily, all I want to do is turn on Hallmark and lose myself in a happily-ever-after.

It can quickly move from losing myself to numbing myself; experiencing vicariously a satisfying life through a show.

I lose sight of the difference between happiness and contentment. Happiness is circumstantially based. It’s an in-the-moment experience that feels good now. Contentment, however, is knowing that the bigger picture of my life is working together purposefully and intentionally for my good. Independent of circumstances. Contentment has a source, a sustaining factor.

God.

We’re going to have problems, crises, and loss in this world. It’s broken in more ways than anyone could ever hope to fix. Our desires run head-on into someone else’s, and there’s conflict. Disagreement, disappointment, disillusionment.

Our best lives don’t always fit in with the best lives of those around us. Our selfish ambitions often blanket the needs and pain of others.

But God.

He changes the dynamic of our lives, being present in the hard, providing the grace we don’t deserve, showering us with mercy when we deserve the worst.

He’s the best thing; you can never have enough of Him.

 

 

 

 

 

2 responses »

  1. Tom Maxwell says:

    Like all your blogs Dayle, you find true contentment for the loss. The Disney World word picture is so vivid and real. What a blessing you present in each of your devotions. My writing problem is that I did prison ministry starting in the Fall of 1983 in the Washington DC system which as you could imagine was really tough. I have completed writing about that phase of my ministry. We moved home in 1992 when I immediately started volunteering with Prison Fellowship and the MO Department of Corrections (DOC) as a Volunteer in Corrections (VIC). My final PF position was as the Volunteer State PF Director, which is a story in it self, where I served for five years, with PF responsibility for twenty prison systems with a great PF boss living in Nebraska. When I retired, since I could not find anyone to take over my position, I worked for a year setting up the state into four areas with PF volunteers serving in the West, Central. East and South West. Three of the four Area Directors were ex-offenders and all four were experienced in prison ministry and loved the Lord. We had also set up and run in coordination with the MO DOC the best annual aftercare conference in the Central US, “Open Gates, Open Hearts” in Columbia MO. PF then assigned a new PF Director in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, which I told senior PF management would not work and it did not. Today as I type we have lost all four of the volunteers I set in place and last year the PF Director cancelled the aftercare conference we ran with PF and the DOC for 18 years because it was too difficult to run from Louisiana. The final blow came when in 2018, after serving the MO DOC for twenty years plus, I was fired by a Director in Jefferson City for breaking a ridiculous MO DOC rule about contact with ex-offenders. I will not bore you with the story but I did nothing but help the MO DOC in my actions. My request to meet with the Director and explain my actions was refused. As you can imagine this has effected my ability to put on paper my MO ministry. Now are you not sorry you asked . A blessed week, tom 

    Captain Tom Maxwell (USN retired)

     

    United States NavalAcademy 

    Central Missouri BlueGold Officer (retired) 

    http://www.captaintommaxwell.com

    • daylerogers says:

      I”m quite behind on my emails, so I’m just now reading this. I love that your heart caused you to reach out to people and see them as more important than policy. I wish more people were like you. Your commitment to have these men have the gospel available to them is beautiful–and how it has worked out seems hard and overwhelming, too much to bear. But God. I think He is in this in a way you can’t yet see, but it’s in a way that will bring Him even more glory and honor than you can even imagine. Your faithfulness, with a heart that is full of faith, is a beautiful gift you give to our Lord. Don’t get overwhelmed by what appears to be an injustice and wrong. I’m constantly being reminded that we overcome evil by DOING good. Not easy, but He says that needs to be our perspective. You are a man of many talents, my friend, and a deep heart that loves our Lord genuinely. I’m praying the Lord will continue to lead your steps in writing, in reaching out to inmates or former inmates–that He will lead you obviously and clearly. You are indeed a man of God. I love that.

      On Mon, Nov 18, 2019 at 5:59 PM Tip of My Iceberg wrote:

      >

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