Russ Ray

Trying to become more like Jesus

What are you waiting for?

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We may make a lot of plans, but the Lord will do what he has decided.—Proverbs 19:21 (CEV)

I didn’t think we would become one of THOSE kinds of families, but we did… it’s tough not to be when you have two girls and a third dropping soon.

We’re a Disney family.

It took a while to come to terms with it, but there it is… I’ve said it.

Two years ago, my only Walt Disney World experiences were a trip to the Magic Kingdom the Christmas after my mom passed away (hey, you know what won’t cheer you up?) and an ill-fated trip to Epcot while Erika was pregnant with Maddie where she was stuck in a wheelchair all day from doctor’s orders. She was high-risk, and we couldn’t ride anything that would jostle her (in other words, nothing fun).

We took the kids to Disney for a couple of days in May 2009 to see how we all could handle it. Maddie was 3 and Sydney was 1, so obviously there will be a memory curve later on in life for them. They had a great time, and with the suspension of belief they have at that age, it was great to see how they interacted with all the characters, princesses, Jungle Cruise captains, etc.

Translation: we oohed and aahed and bawled our eyes out and swore we would go back every year.

So, we did it again last year after Thanksgiving, and I started a countdown 180 days out (the earliest that you can make restaurant reservations) and got kind of really obsessive and annoying about it. I guess I was really excited to take the kids back and expand our experience to the other parks as well.

It wasn’t just us… the kids were also excited to head back. For example, when we went to go see The Princess and the Frog, they recognized this trailer for the first time:

In the theater, Maddie yelled out, “Disney World!” and then when the camera pulled away from the fireworks, “I can see all the hotels!”

So… yeah.

We’re planning our third trip in three years for this fall, and already the excitement is starting to build. I’m looking forward to just getting out of here and getting away, and we’re planning some new stuff with the girls.

Everyone is anticipating something: a vacation… a blockbuster summer movie… a new album… a new baby… graduation… the newest video game or piece of technology… a new phone (or getting out of your contract so you can get a new phone)…

Do we get that excited about Jesus returning to take us home?

Are we too immersed in the world to anticipate what’s going to happen?

That guy that predicted the rapture in May may have watered down the truth about the rapture, but the fact is that it will happen. I don’t care whether you’re pre-trib, post-trib or whatever… my pastor said it best: “I’m pre-trib because I know it’s going to hurt.” I don’t think it matters what you are, because God is going to do what God is going to do. Your interpretation of Revelation is not going to change what God has already planned.

It will happen, and we need to keep thinking about what is coming… in fact, maybe a little stronger than that… we need to be pleading for God to get us the heck out off this ball of mud so we can be out there with Him.

But the world is so alluring with all its trinkets and baubles and gadgets and toys and we forget what we are living for… we make our plans, we prepare our budgets, we arrange our schedules, but God is the one who decides the course.

But, if we’re not living for the return of Christ, then what’s the point of “following” him?

What are you waiting for?

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