Thursday, February 16, 2012

The Parable of the Magic Kingdom

Once there was a father who took his son to the Magic Kingdom. The father was very excited to take him there, and he anticipated that the son's face would light up at the sight of it. But, upon viewing Cinderella's Castle at the entrance, the son seemed unimpressed. "What's wrong? Don't you like the castle?" the father asked. The son replied, "It's okay, but I can't wait to see the real castle."

While riding the Dumbo Ride, the son was similarly not thrilled. "What's wrong? Don't you like flying around like this?" the father asked. The son replied, "It's okay, but I can't wait to soar on a real flying elephant."

Throughout the day, the son couldn't said that he couldn't wait to really be shot into space while riding Space Mountain, couldn't wait to really travel the world and sing with children of every nation during "it's a small world," couldn't wait to meet a real group of ghosts while touring The Haunted Mansion, and couldn't wait for an actual Mad Tea Party.

"But these are the real things," his father finally said. "Why don't you enjoy them while we're here?" The son replied, "If I thought like you, I'd be truly miserable. Fortunately, I have hope that I will see the real Magic Kingdom one day."

At the end of the night, during the spectacular fireworks display, the son was scarcely paying attention. But at one point -- late in the show -- the dazzling colors in the sky, the emotional music, the smells of the park, the taste of the turkey leg from dinner still on his tongue, and the sweat cooling on his skin finally filled him with wonder and awe. He looked up at his father with tears in his eyes and said, "Forgive me, Father. I almost missed it entirely."

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