My family loves Disney. Disney anything, really. My husband grew up in LA and therefore had many birthdays and summer/winter/spring jaunts to Disneyland. He has instilled this affection for Disney into our children. We try to go there every other year. We have Disney credit cards (mine has Tinkerbell on it and Blake’s has the original black-and-white Mickey). We accumulate points over two years and spend them to buy tickets for four Disney parks (in Leu of getting a second mortgage on our house!). We have done this trip enough times with grandparents that we had it down to a science. For years, It involved sending grandpa to one ride to “get a spot in line and defend it at all costs” until the other 6 of us arrived. It worked out well until the invention of the Fast-Pass. Are you familiar? We had to form a new strategy but never fear, we soon had that down to a science as well. We hardly ever had to wait more than 20 minutes in a line. Less astute Disney-park-savvy tourists would glare at us as we skipped past them while they crawled along the winding two-hour treck, sweating and arguing with their children.
Two things changed for us this year; one, we didn’t get to bring any grandparents on our trip (I am sitting on my Marriot resort balcony in Orlando as I type-sweating like a fiend, I might add), and two, they came up with yet another “Fast-Pass” system. Apparently, now you have to start planning what rides you want to go on at what time about a month before you even go on vacation. This is no good for people like me who can’t even think about vacation until I am on it. Here’s how it works now: you can schedule three fast passes at a time. Once you have used them all you can try to schedule another. Once you use that one, if you are lucky enough to find an open slot for five whole people, you can schedule another. I am still deciding if this is brilliant or idiotic on Disney’s part. I’ll let you know when I finish Magic Kingdom today.
But…alas…I have a point that might actually interest you. I decided that I would really like to have access to some “Fast-Passes” in my life ( I am pretty sure my three were used up years ago). I know which “ride” I want to experience, but the regular line is just too dang long. Not only is it long, it’s deceiving. Just when I think I am almost to the end, it does another switchback and I am right back where I started. Occasionally, there are respites along the way-like a cool mist, some fans, maybe even an area that has air-conditioning or robotic people/creatures to distract me from the fact that I have been waiting in line for an hour for a twenty-seven second ride. Sometimes things go wrong on the ride ahead and there are delays. It’s a very bad sign when you see people SITTING in a line that should be moving. They are going absolutely nowhere-they are stuck. And here’s what I hate the most about regular lines-watching other people happily jog past me to the very same ride I am slowly trudging toward. It makes the waiting feel even longer and hotter and makes me question whether I even care this much about going on the ride that sounded exciting about forty-five minutes ago.
“How long, Oh Lord?”. Have you ever raised your hands to God, or maybe even your tiny fist, and asked Him why it is taking so long to get to the end of the line? How long do I have to suffer this addiction? How long will my kid be bullied? How long til’ I find my soul mate? How long will it take to live life after losing a parent or spouse or child? How long will it take me to beat this signature sin? How long will I wake up wishing I didn’t have to do it one more painful day? How long will my body suffer this disease? How long can I live without a job? How long will you ignore my cries for help? I want change. I want forward movement. I want relief and I want it NOW. I want to be on the ride already. I want a “Fast-Pass.”
And yet…I know that God’s timing is always perfect. I can only see right in front of me or a few feet ahead. God sees looking at the whole picture. He is there at the beginning of the line, He is there to lean on while I wait in line, and He know and sees when I will arrive at the beautiful end of it. I always want to get there faster, but I have to trust that what happens in the line matters as much as the when I get to the end of it. How I wait matters. I can be uptight and grouchy and anxious, or I can relax in His presence and let Him carry my heavy back-pack filled with worries and fears and dreams that I have tried to force him to fulfill. I have to wait and TRUST that He knows what I need better than I do. And He knows me inside and out; well enough to know exactly how long it will take.
How Long, O Lord?
13 How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever?
How long will you hide your face from me?
2 How long must I take counsel in my soul
and have sorrow in my heart all the day?
How long shall my enemy be exalted over me?
3 Consider and answer me, O Lord my God;
light up my eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death,
4 lest my enemy say, “I have prevailed over him,”
lest my foes rejoice because I am shaken.
5 But I have trusted in your steadfast love;
my heart shall rejoice in your salvation.
6 I will sing to the Lord,
because he has dealt bountifully with me.