“We can learn from him that suffering and the gift of himself is an essential gift we need in our time.”
Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI
This week we made the epic journey to the happiest place on earth. Despite it being one of the "optimal crowd" weeks, there were strollers and scooters a plenty, giant turkey legs and matching tee-shirts galore. If this was "optimal," I hate to imagine what even "slightly less than optimal" looks like. Like any good Disney adventurers, we double-downed on our already sizable investment and went for the fast pass which could help us navigate the lines. Despite this perk, there was still much waiting. 75 minutes for a 5-minute Peter Pan thrill, 120 minutes for a Toy Story roller coaster. In between navigating a double stroller through all of humanity, I marveled at how throngs of people waited. Senior citizens and families with infants alike, all baking in the Orlando heat for a 5-minute ride or a 15-minute show. Literally thousands of dollars spent in large part just to wait. Later in the week as we waited through a very long and circuitous homily, every one of my children, my inner child, and the faces of everyone around begged me to tell them how much longer they had to wait to get out of there.
I couldn’t help but wonder, what’s the difference? Why was the wait during the homily so much more painful despite the fact it was shorter, required no loan, and for something so much more important? I realized, for myself anyway, it was because it didn’t cost me anything. I wasn’t giving nearly to Mass what I was giving to Mickey. It was fascinating. The more I invested in our vacation the more patient I was for the return, however trivial. In life, leadership, and my relationship with the Lord, where do I need to give more in order to be ready to wait better? I can now tell you from firsthand experience that every fast pass has its limits, but I’m pretty sure waiting with the Lord is what will bring us to the real and only magic kingdom.