Disney World and the Middle East

28 06 2011

My wife and I and Andrea, our youngest daughter, lived in Jerusalem for three months in the mid-nineties. We spent a lot of time in the old city and actually made friends of one of the Arab shop keepers on David Street inside the Jaffa Gate. He dressed in worn and rather dirty robes which helped his pitch to the hapless tourists as he bargained over prices. He genuinely had fun in the process as he explained how needy his family was and could not lower the price anymore (until you walked away). We talked with him on numerous occasions. The last day we stopped to say our goodbyes when he asked where we lived. We explained that we were from Florida, to which he exclaimed: “Ah, yes, Disney World! We are going there next month!” We have enjoyed many good laughs over that story in the years since.

Disney World is a true multi-cultural experience. It is truly another world. In the real world Israelis and Arabs have many layers of historical conflict, but in the Magic Kingdom, it all goes away for a day.

Last week my family was blessed with an extraordinary vacation. The idea began when friends provided seven nights in a beautiful timeshare resort in Orlando. We enjoyed a wonderful suite on the top floor overlooking both the pool and the lake. We were all set for a relaxing week only 10 minutes from Downtown Disney at Lake Buena Vista. We had not budgeted a vacation this summer, so we intended to simply enjoy the free opportunities all around us. Then another friend started the ball rolling for two free Press tickets to Disney World on the basis of my columnist status. Well, in the end we found the favor of the Lord and the favor of Disney’s Public Relations Department, who provided five “park hopper” tickets. We made the most of it last Wednesday with 10 hours at the Magic Kingdom and 6 hours at Epcot in ONE DAY! Thank you for all who helped make it happen, especially for the children, as our 11-year-old grandson declared: “This was truly the best week of my life.” We prayed and gave thanks to God every day as a family last week for His blessings.

The real world did not change while we were in Fantasy Land, but it was a sweet gift from the Lord. I harbor no illusions about the events unfolding between Israel and her neighbors. It is a tough neighborhood. My prayer for Jews and Muslims alike is that they will find peace. Yet, I know the only “real world” peace available, starts with making peace with Yehovah God. He is the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. True peace comes through His Son, the Messiah Yeshua. I pray for the peace of Jerusalem.

If you are blessed with even a small vacation this summer, I pray that you will be able to “unplug” and really rest. But as you do, remember to pray and give thanks. Disney World is great fun, but just wait until you see what our Father God has prepared for those who love Him. It will make the best humans can build, look like a cheap street carnival, compared to the glory and delight of eternity with the God of Heaven and the New Jerusalem, with those streets of real gold!

The twelve gates were twelve pearls: each individual gate was of one pearl. And the street of the city was pure gold, like transparent glass. Revelation 21:21 NKJV

For since the world began, no ear has heard and no eye has seen a God like you, who works for those who wait for him! You welcome those who gladly do good, who follow godly ways. Isaiah 64:4-5a NLT

That is what the Scriptures mean when they say, “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him.” 1 Corinthians 2:9 NLT

Les Lawrence, Voice of Christian Zionists     (READ MORE)



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