We returned last weekend from an amazing trip to Disney World. My children had never been. My husband had never been (gasp!). We were SO excited and we truly had the time of our lives. We joked all the way down to Disney that we were headed to "The Happiest Place on Earth" so we kept telling our children that there would be no tears, no whining, no bad behavior! :) After all, it can't be the happiest place on earth if THAT is going on, right?
My parents went with us--we invited them right after they said they wanted to go to Disney with at least some of their grandkids! Whoop whoop! They were awesome!! Don't they look like they are having a great time?
We were also joined by my sister, Leigh Ann and her daughter Jenny. We probably would not have done as much while we were there if Leigh Ann had not been our "Entertainment Director." She had recently been to be Disney so she knew exactly what we were supposed to do and when! Whew. It was all very overwhelming to me--but Leigh Ann had it all under control. She even stood in a short line to get her picture taken with Mickey Mouse when none of our kids wanted to!
Dad found himself a fellow Army man to hang out with outside the Toy Story ride! :) We love this picture!! And notice...everyone is still smiling! Happiest place on earth...
And to truly prove my point...even MARK is smiling while getting his picture taken...so that settles it! :)
We returned home exhausted, without Caroline's blanket (Disney did send it to us though-whew) and with our kids asking us "When are we going back?"
Although I have heard it many, many times, that question is not the one that has pierced my mind over and over again.
The question that had me thinking came Sunday morning from my pastor. He asked us, "What have you done, in the past seven days, for the Kingdom of God?"
It got me thinking.
Yes, I spent the week prior in the Magic Kingdom. And while that kingdom was amazing and brought huge smiles to the faces of my children, the Magic Kingdom was not and is not what life is all about.
There are some lessons to be learned from the staff at Magic Kingdom though. It is called the Happiest Place because they train their staff to be happy, accommodating, encouraging and kind to EVERYONE they come into contact with. My dad says this is because they have done studies that show people spend more money when they are happy--LOL!
I found myself catching the spirit though. Holding the door for people, smiling at strangers, telling people to have a great day, using please and thank you more often, laughing more and working to make sure my family was all having a great time. It made for a great week with all of us happy most of the time. But, is being happy doing "Kingdom things"?
The answer is obvious. But don't miss the lesson to be learned.
The spirit of happiness was contagious at Magic Kingdom, because everyone acted that way. People want to go to Disney, they enjoy being there, they go back time and time again.
Shouldn't we attract people to the Kingdom of God the way Disney employees attract visitors to the Magic Kingdom?
People should be able to spend time with us and leave feeling encouraged and uplifted and having seen a glimpse of the love, grace and mercy that can only be found in God. Do we do that for the people in our lives? Does our attitude reflect to others that the Kingdom of God is a place they want to go to, spend time in, learn about or become a member of?
We should live our lives that so that everyone wants to follow us through the gates to the peace of Jesus. We certainly shouldn't be turning them away because of how we treat each other, or the things we say or the way we act.
The Kingdom of God is the best place to spend our life and every aspect of our lives should reflect that to those around us. It should leave them wanting more.
So, as you think back on the past seven days--did you attract people to the Kingdom of God?