Wednesday, June 13, 2012

In Retrospect

Finally, this morning, the secret was revealed! It's been difficult to keep the lips sealed about something as exciting as a trip to Disney. I've known for a month or more my grandchildren were going on a very special vacation. The hardest moments came when my grandchildren were about to leave my home yesterday to go home, unknowingly facing a day that will be forever imprinted on their minds. As they climbed into the car to go home, my granddaughter was already thinking in future tense, asking her daddy, “what are we doing tomorrow?”

“Probably, the same thing you did today,” he said, looking back at me and smiling. We knew something she hadn't learned yet. I had a feeling of anticipation and true joy as I thought of how the revelation of this blessing would impact their lives when the sun came up in the morning. I can only imagine the satisfaction and joy their father and mother had in being able to bless their children with such a trip.

The children were clueless. My daughter had made each of them a bag filled with all manner of activities to keep them occupied on the long drive south. A Disney shirt, while much appreciated, still didn't seem to make the connection they were about to embark on a trip of a lifetime. When my daughter prompted them to look at their things and see what clues they might get about their day, my granddaughter quickly replied, “We're getting the Disney channel?” Obviously, their parents had done an excellent job of keeping the secret!

“We're going to see Minnie and Mickey....TODAY!” my daughter announced. Their eyes grew wide in disbelief. Emotions rose within all our hearts as unreality struggled to become reality in two children's minds. As can be expected, tears flowed from all the female eyes in the room. As more details of the trip unfolded and they began to gather up their things, I said a prayer in my heart of gratitude for God's blessing to provide this special family time for them. And they were off, filled with expectation and excitement for what lies ahead.

When it got quiet, I relived the experience in my mind and found what pierced my heart the most in this experience was the authentic and deep gratitude my grandchildren expressed to their parents for the opportunity they were about to have.

In retrospect ( a new phrase my seven year old used at least 3 times yesterday while visiting with me), I realized our entire life can be much like this once in a lifetime experience for my grandchildren. We can be “clueless” of all the beautiful things God has prepared for us in this life. Sometimes we find ourselves even surprised to learn He has done the miracle we've asked Him to do. We are happy and even willing to accept less than the best He offers us in His Word. Our view of what He wants for us can be as underwhelming as the Disney channel when lined up alongside the real life experiences they were about to experience. 

When we know that the Word of God is true, that we are what the Word says we are, and that we can do all the Word says we can, we can enjoy all our privileges and promises in Christ. We often live far below all that our Father has desired for us. As my son in law was touched by his childrens' gratitude and the joy they had concerning their destination, our Father must long to see us enjoying the journey and hear us voice our gratitude for all He has prepared for us as His children. Like my grandchildren, we can be clueless unless we look into the Word and discover all He has in store for us. I'm reminded of this verse, which is a good place to begin.

“What eye has not seen and ear has not heard and has not entered into the heart of man, [all that] God has prepared [made and keeps ready] for those who love Him [who hold him in affectionate reverence, promptly obeying Him and gratefully recognizing the benefits He has bestowed]. I Corinthians2:9

Today I was reminded that I must allow the promises of God to enter into my heart, not just exist in my head as head knowledge. I want to be as certain that God has prepared good things for me as I am convinced these earthly parents have done everything possible to provide a joyful experience for their children. I pray I won't soon forget the heartfelt expression of gratitude I saw in my grandchildren today for all they were about to enjoy.

Like the drive to Disney from the Carolinas will be, sometimes this life can bring challenges that make it seem long and laborious. We can grow weary and doubts can enter into our hearts and minds. In retrospect, when we get to the end of our journey, it will all be worth the wait. And it won't hurt if we don some Mickey and Minnie mouse ears, put on a smile and realize He's got lots of adventure in store for us on the way.

And if these two happy faces don't inspire you today, check out this in RETROspect video. I hope this light and funny video might just bless you and help you see that even though life can seem filled with many trials, God's love and His promises can be like kisses all over Mickey's face as he finds a way to appreciate the one who loves him.

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