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.
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.
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.
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