It was the last ride of the last day of our Disney birthday celebration for my daughter’s 18th birthday. The rain had finally stopped and we had a few minutes before leaving the Magic Kingdom.
Our group climbed into our ‘hunny pots’ (she was always a Pooh fan!) tired, but happy…ready to close the Magic Kingdom at midnight. Tigger bounced and Pooh hummed as we journeyed through the story singing along….and then…nothing.
The ride stopped. The music stopped. The hunny pots stopped. Everything stopped.
For a few minutes we sat in darkness. Then glaring lights turned on and a loud voice instructed us to stay put. ‘Please remain in your hunny pot, it declared. ‘A cast member will be by shortly to assist you.’ The announcement was repeated over and over and over for the next fifteen minutes.
There was no last wonderful ride at Disney. No magical tour through the Hundred Acre wood. Just five shivering folks in cheap rain ponchos…waiting to be released from a yellow plastic hunny pot. Eventually two perky folks in costume came along and pushed the magic button to release our lap bar. We climbed out one by one and began walking along the track through the story.
This was a side of the ride we had never seen. We got to touch things and look up close at fake rain puddles and glow in the dark Heffalumps. We were able to come face to face with Pooh and joke with the other passengers who joined us along the way.
One of them noticed my daughter’s birthday button and the entire group burst into an impromptu birthday song. It was awesome!
The whole thing felt a lot like life to me. Sometimes we are cruising along on our journey and then wham! Everything stops. The safe secure path you expected to travel is no longer an option. You are forced to evacuate Plan A and walk an unfamiliar path. It is dark and a bit scary. ‘This was not part of the plan’ we cry. ‘It was not supposed to be like this’.
But along the way, remember these things that are still true:
- Your detour did not take God by surprise. He is right there with you in the dark.
- There are always folks along the way to provide guidance and help.
- It may not be the ride you expected, but your new perspective may show you a side of God’s heart that you would never have seen otherwise. Riding along in our hunny pot, we would have never been able to touch Pooh’s face. Maybe your life’s detour will allow God to touch you in ways you never dreamed possible.
- There can be magic and joy along the journey but you have to look for it. Fellow travelers who could have grumbled our way out of the ride instead chose to laugh and sing. Is there someone whose life you can brighten today?
- And no matter what- at the end we eventually come out into the open again. On our Disney adventure, there were fireworks and a castle that sparkled…even in the rain. In life, there is a hope of heaven, eternity with Jesus and a reunion with all those who have gone before.
Psalm 16:5Lord, you alone are my portion and my cup;
you make my lot secure no matter what.
The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;
surely I have a delightful inheritance.
I will praise the Lord, who counsels me;
even at night my heart instructs me.
I keep my eyes always on the Lord.
With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken.
Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices;
my body also will rest secure,
because you will not abandon me to the realm of the dead,
nor will you let your faithful one see decay.
You make known to me the path of life;
you will fill me with joy in your presence,
with eternal pleasures at your right hand.