Sometimes it’s easy to believe the illusion. The bench I’m sitting on is surrounded by a quaint, story-book town and in the distance a castle silhouettes the sky. Anything is possible here—animals can talk, I can be a princess or a mermaid (or both!), and magic happens. I can own a magic wand or a flying carpet. My mom, for her ninetieth birthday, wanted to come to Disney World so my sister and I brought her, meeting my nephew here to enjoy the fun with us. In this place believing is in the air and I’m buying into it lock, stock, and barrel.
In my last post I asked you “What are You Seeing”? As we walk in the supernatural it can sometimes feel like we’re deluding ourselves, that we’re pretending, or emotionally escaping from a physical world of pain and suffering.
Walking supernaturally isn’t deluding yourself, it’s choosing God’s reality over what you perceive to be reality, it’s keeping your spiritual perspective instead of living in your physical tunnel vision.
The struggle with life for us is which “reality” we live. Physically I like being a princess. While walking across a large foyer this morning a woman bowed to me and said, “I hope you have a wonderful day, Princess.” I could get used to this. It’s fun and people treat me like I’m special. I’m surrounded by beauty and catered to day and night—and not with an “it’s my job” attitude (like normal life).
The “reality” I see here at Disney is a fantasy, and while it’s easy to believe as I sit here surrounded by the fairy tale, once I leave this “magic kingdom” true physical reality smacks me in the face (as evidenced on the way home by being in a car wreck, by making a ninety-mile mistake in the wrong direction, and by facing a long detour around a rock slide).
Yet Disney isn’t limited to physical reality. In the Tiki Room we sit on church pews while watching cute mechanical birds sing and make corny jokes.
Being the first of March the park isn’t crowded so we’re spread out on our pew, and as I sit in the dark I think about Jesus sitting here beside me in a room of Tiki totems based off a pagan religion, and I wonder about his thoughts on this entertainment. I look at the people watching the show and think how Jesus’ heart must be breaking over his people. Then, while never taking his eyes off the show, Jesus reaches over and puts his arm around my shoulder, gently pulling me up against his side. He is smiling and peaceful and the gesture means, “Stop analyzing everything and just enjoy being here.” I sit the rest of the show with his arm around me, warm and loving and peaceful as I relax and let myself enjoy HIM—forget the show!
I can now say from experience that I’ve been both a real, spiritual princess from the true Kingdom (the spiritual realm) at the same time that I was a physical, pretend princess in the Magic Kingdom! Yet we have to learn to live in spiritual reality while occupying a physical body. Does your reality differ than God’s reality? How can you change your perspective? To live in God’s reality brings an overhaul inside your head.
Here’s an exercise for you: write 3 specific things that you struggle with that are physical realities in your life. Now write how you currently feel about that reality. Then write what God’s reality is in each situation, and over the next week work to change how you see that aspect of your life.
For example, I was close to my dad but he could really get to me. He loved to watch the news and read about martyrs in China and then he wanted to tell me all the details, but I’m super-sensitive and one mention of something on the news can hurt me for days, so I prefer an overview. He believed I was playing ostrich and hiding my head in the sand to avoid “reality,” and how could I be specific in my prayers if I didn’t know the details? So he’d tell me stories even knowing I didn’t want to hear them. However, one day I stepped back and got God’s perspective on it. After his stroke (except for doctor’s appointments) his world became the four walls of his house, and that made watching the news a big deal to him. That was his world and he wanted to talk about it. After that, on my way to visit I’d remind myself how this was a gift of time with my dad, the big picture was that I didn’t have that much time left with him and I wanted to treasure it.
As you move through this week listen to what your “reality” is by watching your thoughts and how they affect your emotions. When you feel yourself having negative emotions do the exercise above to see how you’re reacting to the issue and what God’s perspective is on it. You’ll find that you’re able to live from a whole different reality than before.