We scrimped (whatever that means) and saved and with quite a bit of help from our parents, we were finally taking our kids to Disney World. The boys were four and seven and we had prepped them for this magical adventure. I started packing weeks before, purchased the Secret Guide To Disney World, and began physically and emotionally readying myself. It was going to be exhausting but so worth it.
We got up early the day of the trip to drive to the airport. You know that wonderful feeling we parents get when we are so excited because we know how excited our kids are going to be? I’d had that emotion for several weeks, but today it was real.
We stopped at the gas station to fill up the car for the trek to the airport, when my kids started getting super excited. “Look Mom! There’s a motorcycle!” I looked and sure enough, a motorcycle rider had pulled into the gas station to top off his tank as well. Imagine the odds. But the boys just couldn’t believe their luck-they were fidgety and excited and couldn’t stop talking about the motorcycle. As their father got into the car and started the engine, I heard howls of protest coming from the back seat.
“NO! We can’t leave! The motorcycle’s still here! We have to stay! Then can we follow him?” I am really not hearing this. My children are more interested in a motorcycle than Disney World? “Yes,” I replied, “We are leaving. We’re going to the airport to fly to Disney World. C’mon guys-we’ve been talking about this for a month! We’re going to see Mickey Mouse and ride all the rides, and go to the water parks. It’s going to be amazing!” My kids were not impressed anymore.
“But Mom! The motorcycle is right there and…..NOOOOOO!!!” Nathan stopped in midsentence as my husband pulled out of the gas station and left the motorcycle with its rider in the rearview mirror. The boys were literally inconsolable for the next fifteen minutes. They finally calmed down but I have to say I was so irritated with them. How could they want to stay at a gas station to look at a motorcycle when we were getting on an airplane and flying to Disney World for five days? This was beyond my understanding. Then it hit me.
How many times do we turn our backs on the treasures our Heavenly Father offers us in favor of the here and the now? Our Father offers us Disney World and we want to pass it up for a motorcycle filling up at the gas station. My emotions changed quickly and I felt empathy but also shame.
I won’t pretend that I never gave up Disney World for a motorcycle in my personal life again, but I do try to look at my choices in a different light. I also gave my kids vast amounts of grace that day. They’d never been to Disney World and had only heard stories and seen pictures. So I could see why they were so willing to pass it up for something they could see was real and right there in front of them. Because I’d done it so many times myself.
We don’t know exactly what Heaven will be like, and most days it seems so far away. The here and the now is so much closer and easier to reach. So we have to keep remembering that a bird in the hand is definitely not worth two in the bush when it comes to where we’re going.
Please comment and let me know your thoughts on this post-I’d love to hear them.