Just some early morning thoughts from me to you…
“Why am I discouraged? Why is my heart so sad?
I will put my hope in God! I will praise him again—
My Savior and my God!”
Psalm 43:5 (NLT)
Well, I can finally see the sun beginning to break through the darkness—at least from my vantage point. But the occurrences and events of late within our personal and professional lives, and those around our nation and world, might justifiably give us all pause to wonder if, in fact, it’s always a given to occur in the future.
A few years ago we were headed as a family to Disney World. While we were planning and making notes as to the things we wanted to do while we were there, my elder Granddaughter, Hannah, lobbed a question in my direction.
“Granddaddy, what’s your favorite thing to do at Disney World?”
Her wry smile betrayed the fact that she already knew my answer. It used to be her favorite thing to do also, and my mission was to overcome some of the good-natured ribbing from other adult family members—who have referred to my “favorite thing” within her earshot as “boring”—and to make it her favorite again.
“My dearest Hannah,” I began as I stood a bit taller, “my favorite thing to do at Disney World is to ride ‘It’s A Small World.’” It was the answer she expected, which led to a second and very sincere and probing question from my wonderfully curious and precious Granddaughter.
“Why is that your favorite, Gran?”
As the question hung there, the memories flooded my thoughts—memories of her or her sister, our younger Granddaughter Ellie Kate, sitting on my lap in one of the boats in the ride wending our way atop the gently flowing currents as we drifted past and watched and listened to brightly colored figurines depicting children of all nations and cultures around the world “singing” the words in their own languages and tune that rolls over and over in your head after the ride is long completed…
“It’s a world of laughter, a world of tears,
It’s a world of hopes, and a world of fears,
There’s so much that we share, that it’s time we’re aware,
It’s a small world after all.”
My answer was immediate, although for the first time her question caused me to look deeper into why it was my favorite. It had always seemed to be about more than just the joy-filled music and native costumes of children of countries everywhere. That’s why each time for me seems to be a new and renewed experience, and even more so now that my precious little girls could share it with me. And so I answered as best as I could.
It’s about hope I told her. Hope for the lives of children of all ages everywhere. Hope that children and adults we don’t even know, in places we’ve never been, in lands both near and far away would be happy and have a wonderful life like Ellie Kate and Hannah have. Hope that children who are sad and sometimes alone will have people who come along to love them and dry their tears. Hope that children of all ages will see that no matter what they are facing, individually or collectively, there is hope beyond all of that for them to reach for, believe in, and take comfort in.
And for you and for me, it’s about hope on a morning like this morning.
As we wake to a new day and head into whatever is before us, we face once again the grim reality of war as families and a nation mourn the loss of thirty American service members, most of whom were Navy SEALs. Next to that headline we see other ones decrying that the economy continues to slip farther and farther from recovery while politicians and pundits point fingers of blame at others rather than at the root causes of the problems we face, and to add to those woes our nation, for the first time in history, has had its credit rating downgraded from the highest quality.
Some of us wake to careers that are in a tailspin and we can’t seem to figure out how to reverse the losing streak. Others of us continue to fight problems, obstacles, addictions in our lives that are keeping us from becoming all we were created to be. And there are others of us who are trying to find, or reclaim anew, that passion for life that energizes them to step out into all the opportunity presented in the sunshine of a brand new day.
In the world in which we live which is too often flooded with discouragement and sadness, “It’s A Small World” may be the most significant, relevant and necessary ride in all of Disney World for us. It’s a reminder that no matter what happens; the sun always breaks through the darkness. It’s a reminder that no matter what we face, hope still reigns! Hope that comes from above. Hope that is always there in the person of our God who never sleeps and will never let us down.
Hannah, my precious girl—it’s about hope!
Hope for you, hope for me, hope for all the world, now and throughout eternity—from the God who loves us and never leaves us.
“It’s A Small World.” Boring? Not on your life or mine.
It’s all about hope.
In His Name—Scott