The Parable of Disneyland
Director of Discipleship
Imagine you’re given an all-expense paid ticket to Disneyland. You didn't earn the ticket—it was free. As you push through the turnstiles into the Magic Kingdom, your heart pounds with excitement and expectation. Just inside the gates in a large, open area, some people linger, some waiting, some just talking and already taking pictures. As other eager park-goers make their way toward Main Street USA and beyond, you spot a bench located just below a likeness of Mickey Mouse landscaped in flowers, and there’s even an outlet! You pull out the laptop that you've brought with you, and settle in. Perfect—it’s a beautiful day and you have your laptop and smartphone with you.
All day long, as joyful people
stream through the gates and into the park, the front entry area becomes
crowded with those who have stepped out of the line to make calls, wait on
benches, and even take naps. You hardly notice, though, because you have so much
to do. A friend who came to Disneyland with you, keeps coming back to lure you
further into the park. “Come on! It’s amazing, and you are missing out!” But
you just smile and say, “After I finish these things I need to take care of—I
just don’t have time". "But Disneyland is really great!” you add, giving your
friend a thumbs-up. As you answer
e-mails, make calls, set up appointments for the kids and even just browse the Internet, the sun sinks low in the sky.
At the end of the day, after the fireworks (which you missed because your back was to them), the park starts to close and crowds of happy, exhausted people make their way to the exits. Those camped in the front area log off their devices, stow their magazines, and wake up from their naps. As you make your way to the parking lot, you overhear comments about how fantastic Disneyland was. You smile and nod, but secretly wonder if they might be exaggerating—after all, you spent the whole day at Disneyland, too.
When we accept God’s forgiveness and become a believer, we are granted access to live in His Kingdom right now. How we use that access is up to us. We certainly don't earn salvation, but exploring His kingdom requires effort on our part. If we accept God's gift of salvation, and then do nothing with it--imagine all we might miss!