Entertainment

Faith, Hope, and…Disney Dust?

{Guest Post by Mrs. J D White}

This is not a post bashing Disney. Who doesn’t like a good Disney movie with a side of microwave popcorn? (Unless it’s a bad Disney movie. They do exist.)

But I’m concerned that Disney’s wishful dream-dreaming might be creeping into even the way we think about our Christian walk.

Stuff like Jesus being our real Prince Charming. Or getting what we want by believing hard enough. Or treating a particular ministry or “faith person” as our Hairy Dogfather – I mean Fairy Godmother – delivering magical chariot-words to propel us to our destinies.

Or on another level, we think we can bring Christianity into general popularity by loudly celebrating Christians’ success stories, triumphing in political battles, and painting the Way of Christ as a way to the life you’ve been dreaming of.

The happily-ever-after story permeates our society. We know it’s a little unrealistic. (Flying carpets? Empathetic chameleons? Cute and fluffy aliens? None of us are truly fooled.) Yet, who of us haven’t wistfully prayed for our fondest little dream at the sight of a falling star, hoping that maybe just maybe God will make it all turn out nice.

I don’t have anything against good stories. I love stories with happy endings. And I think we NEED stories that remind us that good triumphs over evil.

i.e. The Wingfeather Saga(Books)

We just need to make sure we don’t mix up fairy tale ideals with sound theology.

Christ is coming back for his bride, the Church, and it will be the truly happiest forever-after that we could imagine. He will set all things right. Evil will be over and done with.

That is our blessed hope. The not-yet of the truth we already cling to.

But Christians, dear brothers and sisters, we have need of remembering that this life is not promised to be full of victories for us. Freedom from slavery to sin, yes indeed. But we are not promised fame. Or fortune. Or magic prayer that heals when we sing. Or genie Bibles that transform us into princes, able to walk our way to the top of things, in style. Or a step-by-step adventure to appease a wrathful deity and slay dragons and win the heart of the fairest in the land.

Remember our Christian brethren through the ages. Cast out, poverty stricken, neglected, beaten, tormented, sick, unpublished, unrecognized, forgotten, unsung, beheaded, burned, ridiculed, persecuted, bereaved, grieving. Most live and die in ordinary obscurity.

Yet not without hope.

Our salvation is coming. Our healing is on its way. Our Bridegroom is preparing a place for us and our hope will not prove vain.

For a little while we must face trials of many kinds, and though we count them as joys because they are bringing us closer to Christ, we still have to learn endurance. Sometimes following Christ means going lower, turning down a lucrative opportunity, giving up a dream or having that dream ruthlessly wrenched away from you, enduring long hours of pain while the world goes on without you, loving your enemies by not retaliating, loving your family through their most unloveable seasons.

And, hey, remember…Rapunzel spent nearly 18 years ALONE with a woman who loved her only for what she could get from her. Cinderella was orphaned. Peter Pan got what he wanted, but not really. Snow White was hunted, and exiled among strangers.

I’m being a little melodramatic there, but my point is this: we’ll all experience good things in our own life stories, and we’ll all experience painful things, but our ultimate victory as Christians is not yet. And we shouldn’t take personal successes as indications of God’s approval or take suffering as always only punishment or from the devil.

We have a lot to learn about our God. We can learn some things from Disney stories, but we have to remember there’s more.

We’re in a better Story, and it’s not about us, and it’s not over yet. It’s about Jesus, and He’s still at work, still building his Church, and He sees every tear, hears every cry. Happily forever after will come when Jesus comes back.

May it be soon.

Come Lord Jesus.

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