This past weekend we actually had time off! I didnâ€™t know what to do with myself! I didnâ€™t have any chapters to read, or a final exam to study for! So 10 of us made our way to the Magic Kingdom, at Disney World, this past Saturday and had a blast. I was with several new staff friends that had never been to Disney before and it was fun to see how they responded to the â€œDisney Experience.â€ There is so much that I could write about that came to mind throughout the day. But Iâ€™m going to zero in on two things; 1) the legacy of Walt Disney and beyond, and 2) a vision of heaven.
the legacy of Walt and beyond
Now I want to offer a disclaimer before I get rolling into this thought â€“ Iâ€™m not sold out a 100% about everything that the Disney corporation does and/or supports, but it is amazing to think of the earthly legacy that the man Walt Disney has had on our planet. Think of how many children have smiled, and for that matter how many adults have smiled, due to his dreams that have come true.
Now as I was thinking about good ole Walt I wasnâ€™t dreaming about having an entertainment and commercial empire like his corporation now has, but I was dreaming about a spiritual legacy that one could leave on this planet and furthermore beyond this earth into eternity! I couldnâ€™t help but think of a man that hit the scene a little after Walt Disney, but this man was in the business of changed lives. Not changed lives by merely getting a child or an adult to smile, but by seeing the eternal destiny of individuals changed. This man happens to be Bill Bright, the founder of Campus Crusade for Christ.
If you were to compare, from the human eye, the legacy these two men have left you might assume that Walt outdid Bill. By no means was Bill Bright trying outdo someoneâ€™s legacy or was Walt trying to outdo anyone elseâ€™s either, but I say this because as humans we all too often play the comparison game. Think of it like this â€“ Waltâ€™s corporation works out of Orlando and so does Billâ€™s organization. Waltâ€™s blows away Billâ€™s, at least to the human eye. Campus Crusade’s offices in Orlando are but a few stalls of one parking lot at Disney World, but the unseen is so much larger than you can imagine.
For those us who are part of the Kingdom of King Jesus the legacy we will leave will look much different from any form of earthly success. Sure the Disney Empire extends across the globe, but the legacy of a follower of Jesus could blow away thing that Disneyâ€™s empire has ever had! Bill Brightâ€™s legacy certainly extends into eternity in some amazing ways. Billions of people have heard the Good News of Jesus in nations all over the world, and what is even more amazing is that they just havenâ€™t heard, but that they have responded and their lives have been changed!
Because of the faith of one man, moved by God, who sat down over 50 years ago and signed a contract between God and his wife, Vonette, and him billions of lives have been impacted and made whole by loving power of Jesus. That legacy is amazing! That legacy excites me! Praise God that He has brought us into relationship with Himself and that He intends to use us to further His Kingdom! I will dream about that type of a legacyâ€¦
a vision of heaven
How would I have a vision of heaven at Disney World? I know this might seem clichÃ© but it was in the ride â€“ â€œItâ€™s a Small World.â€ The last time I was at Disney World was in 1999 and at that point in my life I wasnâ€™t a Christian. Therefore, â€œItâ€™s a Small Worldâ€ was nothing more than a cheesy childrenâ€™s ride, but on Saturdayâ€™s visit it was much more than that. After living overseas for some time and having a passion to see the nations reached with the Gospel of Jesus Christ â€œItâ€™s a Small Worldâ€ meant so much more to me!
As I sat on the boat going through Disneyâ€™s small world and watching the singing children representing cultures all over the world I was moved. Hearing each culture singing in its own language drove me to prayer, crying out that the Lord of the Harvest, Jesus, would send laborers into these cultures to see them reached. It made me think of something Jesus said in Matthew 24:14,
â€œAnd this Gospel of the Kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world has a testimony to all nations and then the end will come.â€ -Jesus
As I was reminded of this verse, while seeing the happy children singing, the reality of God currently working in each of these nations represented within the â€œSmall Worldâ€ ride and more than that my heart was singing praises to God and crying out that they would hear! (NOTE: to my knowledge the Czech Republic isnâ€™t represented within the ride, but I still prayed for the Czech people!)
I loved seeing each nation represented by several kids in their own environment, but then as you move to the grand finale (like heaven maybe?) you see all the children singing together! Granted they are all singing in English and Iâ€™m pretty sure that English isnâ€™t the only language spoken in heaven, but it is still great to see them singing in unison. But what is cool is that they have retained their cultural clothing, but it is now white! This reminded me of what heaven will be like:
â€œAfter this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands.â€ (Revelation 7:9 ESV)
Thank God for the little vision of heaven from the â€œItâ€™s a Small Worldâ€ ride! I pray that you will be longing for every nation, every tongue and every tribe to hear the Gospel! After all it is on the heart of Jesus!
be a revolution, reach the nations in whatever way God has called youâ€¦