Monday, January 19, 2009

The Tale of Two Kingdoms: Reflections on a day at Magic Kingdom

A few weeks ago we spent a day taking in the sights and sounds of Disney’s Magic Kingdom. It’s a place where “dreams come true” so they say. Everyone looks so happy (at least in the commercials) and there is always something blooming, something to smile about. For a mere $75 you can pass through the gate of this kingdom becoming a royal guest.

Oh, how many little girls we saw that day– hair up, glitter all around, and dressed as if they were going to the ball. How they delighted to stroll among the peasants wearing their gowns and looking forward to everything the day would bring – including exploring every nook and cranny of that glorious castle where – if only for a day - this was home. For a castle is where a princess lives! I can only imagine the anticipation in their hearts as they spied the castle from afar. It’s quite a sight to behold with its towers and turrets.

Being a princess is a special thing you know. It means your daddy is the king! Oh, what a privilege to live as a daughter of the king.

I can only imagine what a little girl could have been dreaming of that day. Perhaps she had thoughts like this: “I’m sure the king will be expecting me – even waiting for me. I can’t wait to run into his arms and he’ll twirl me around with my feet off the ground. And then I’ll run off and explore this wonderful castle – this palace I’ve only seen in my dreams”.

But there was no king; there was no twirling. And there was nothing to explore. The castle, you see, is nothing but an empty shell. (I’m serious…you can look at the outside, but you cannot go in). It is a facade – meant to impress. And impressive it was! You should have seen it all decked out for Christmas – dripping with lights from head to toe, a glistening ice castle all lit up! It was magnificent!

But there was nothing on the inside.

The empty castle caused me to ponder some things. Like how often our lives are like empty castles. They look really great from the outside, but inside there is a terrible void – an emptiness. What a tragedy so many of us spend our days…years… lives, making sure our empty castles are dressed to impress lest others discover our life is nothing but an empty shell.

It’s a sad way to spend a lifetime – living in an empty castle.

How I rejoice that it doesn’t have to be that way! The truth is we were born to be princesses (and princes) – daughters (and sons) of the King! And the desire to be one was put there on purpose by the God who longs to be our King and fill the void in our empty castles.

When Jesus is seated on the throne of our lives, He fills our castle with meaning, purpose, substance, depth, richness, beauty, love, and joy. That’s what I want.

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