My family and I have just wrapped up a few days of “sabbatical vacationing” at Disneyworld. Of course, as anyone who’s been at Disneyworld recently can attest, such a visit is largely an adventure in waiting. Whether you’re standing in line for the latest ride, a classic attraction, or the chance to purchase an overpriced meal, a significant portion (if not the greatest portion) of your day is spent cued up and waiting for the chance to move forward.
Of course, like many people, I have some ambivalent feelings about the Disney waiting experience. On the one hand, the “minions of the Mouse” have an unbelievable gift for hiding much of your waiting from you. Just when you think you’re almost to the front of a line, you round a corner and discover that there’s a whole new section of waiting ahead. And even though you probably wouldn’t have stepped into the line if you had known you’d have to wait this long, you’re committed at this point; so you breathe deeply and do your best to practice patience. On the other hand, the “line engineers” do a pretty good job of giving you things to look at and listen to while you stand in line. And unless the cues are exceptionally long, you often get to stand in the shade. So given how many people are usually your “companions in waiting,” it’s probably not nearly as bad as it could be.
Now, as a side note, my waiting experience on this trip to Disney was complicated by the theme park’s new “Lightning Lane” practices. For those who can afford to do so (which doesn’t include me), the purchase of a Lightning Pass entitles you to “skip the waiting” on most attractions. And while I understand that this provides an easy way for the corporation to increase its profits, it does seem to privilege the “haves” at the expense of the “have nots” in a way of which the biblical prophets would have approved.
In the end, the thing I found myself pondering amid this I experience was the question of what sustains us in our waiting. And in that regard, I was reminded of two things. First, it really does matter what we’re waiting for. Standing in line just to get into the park is one thing, while waiting to get on the new Star Wars “Rise of the Resistance” ride is another. And maybe the Bible’s frequent admonitions to “set your mind on things above”—to meditate on the future God has promised to us—aim to give us a an end goal that’s worth the wait.
But along with that, I’ve been reminded over the past few days that it also matters a lot who were waiting with. Disney rides are great and all, but none of them are worth the long, hot hours that I’ve spent standing in line recently. No, what has made the waiting worthwhile has been the presence of my family. And maybe that’s why so many of the Bible’s calls to wait remind us that it’s God we’re waiting for, and not just the blessings that He’s promised. As Psalm 27:14 puts it, “Wait for the LORD (emphasis added); be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.”
So here’s a few photos of the “waiting companions” with whom I’ve been privileged to share the last few days: