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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Patience (08/21/08)

TITLE: The Happiest Place on Earth
By Janice Wood


The rosy cheeked little boy next door grinning ear to ear jumped into my face and exclaimed “I’m going to the happiest place on earth!” Where else but the big “D”—Disneyland! Also known as the Magic Kingdom, Disneyland promotes an image that is consistently lived out before each visitor that passes their threshold from the street sweeper to the jungle boat guide; to the costumed characters that patiently pose for pictures with their admirers. All sorts of catastrophic events and bloopers may be happening behind the scenes with the equipment and employees but the public will be seeing only love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control. Hey, wait, that last line sounds really familiar. It should. Those character traits we find so appealing about the employees at the “happiest place on earth” and that keep us wanting to come back are, according to Scripture, the hallmark temperaments of the Holy Spirit controlled life of a Christian.

How is it possible to be authentically patient and joyful when life seems to be unraveling at the seams and everything that can go wrong is belching its horrid drama into your life right now?!! For the Disneyland employees of the “Magic Kingdom” it is all about who they are and the role they must play before their audience. For the Christian it is all about whom we are and the role we must play before our audience. Jesus said He is a King but His kingdom is not of this world. He is our King and, being of His kingdom, we are not of this world either. He calls Himself our Good Shepherd who leads us in paths of right behavior for His reputation is at stake. Acting impatient and huffy and irritable is not an option for the one following the Good Shepherd who is also the King of the Kingdom that is not of this world. Keeping that in mind defines who we are and the role we must play. Every event that enters our scene, using the drama metaphor, becomes an opportunity to project as clearly as possible for our audience, how absolutely wonderful our King and Good Shepherd is. We are granted by God’s grace and providence only the moment we are living in. The people engaging us at this very moment in time are the ones God would have us show how wonderful He is. The bystander, the cashier, the waiter, our co-worker, the one who cut us off in line, our spouses, our neighbors become the visible members of our audience. The invisible members of our audience are: the angels—those who were thrust out of God’s kingdom and actively work to trip us up; and those heavenly angels, vastly more in number, who work behind the scenes to give us encouragement and support to thwart Satan’s bullying on earth and assist us in rescuing those who will choose to be born again into God’s Kingdom through the blood of Jesus; and, most importantly, the Great and magnificent, Creator of all that exists, and our Rescuer from the Kingdom of Darkness, Jesus Himself, along with our Heavenly Father and the Holy Spirit.

Mike, a brother in Christ, and a co-worker for 30 some years embodies this message of the Kingdom not of this world. One couldn’t ask for a more excellent and hard working employee. He has encountered great hardship in his personal life but has never lost his smile or his testimony that God is always good. Spending time with Mike is better than a day at Disneyland. He is the “happiest place on earth!” I want to be the “happiest place on earth!” too. With God’s help may it ever be.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Anita van der Elst08/28/08
Very nice devotional! I think I would've found it a bit easier to read with shorter paragraphs and sentences. Keep writing!!!
Lisa Keck08/28/08
I enjoyed this piece--one distinction that could've been brought out. Disney employees are actors who play a role as you said but Christians become the role. Anyone who is in Christ is a new creation. Overall, though it was well written. Keep up the good work.
Lois Hudson08/28/08
Nice corollary. The title pulls the reader in and the segue to the Christian life is great.

I find the last paragraph about Mike a bit out of place. It seems an abrupt change of focus. Although a nice tribute to a friend, I feel it detracts from the impact of the piece. I think it would be a stronger devotional by dropping that paragraph -- tell Mike in person what you think of him! :-) Or show him the piece and tell him you think he lives it out.
Dan Blankenship 08/28/08
I agree with Lois...the last paragraph was not needed.

Awesome entry and a good comparison.

Great work.

May God bless.
Dan Blankenship

Joanne Sher 08/29/08
I really liked this analogy. You have some good advice above - won't repeat it. Creative.