Aaah, those immortal words that we will all spend the remainder of our day trying to forget and trying NOT to sing along with. Don't! DON'T DO IT. As compelling as it may be to reminisce about the days when that song and that ride (in particular) seemed larger than life and those animatronics looked so real; we must capture the full picture of those memories, including the much lower than we thought painted ceiling and the old technology that (had we not experienced as children) would offend us and our smart phones in any other setting. See, in the 1960's (when this ride was originally installed at Disneyland) it was cutting edge and way ahead of it's time. From kids to adults, the awe factor was hitting everyone. Back then visitors weren't looking at the ceilings and using their critical eye to detect the obvious mechanical movements from the singing machines, back then this ride was an experience, a transporter of sorts. And now? There couldn't be a larger gap between what this ride was to us as children, and what it is for us now as adults as we purposely break through the kitschiness and the 'hand me down' traditions of a ride that to put it nicely, needs to be retired.
2 Samuel 5:20 (ESV)
"And David came to Baal-perazim, and David defeated them there. And he said, "The Lord has broken through my enemies before me like a breaking flood." Therefore the name of that place is called Baal-perazim (Lord of the Breakthrough)."
Psam 85:13 (AMP)
"Righteousness shall go before Him and shall make His footsteps a way in which to walk."
Over time and under the belief systems, guidance and outright dictations of the societies that we live in; ideologies (just as our beloved Disney ride) eventually get cramped and the 'old technology' or 'old ways of doing things' must get updated. It's inevitable. We see this TRUTH across every area of our natural lives, we are used to it, we've accepted it. The problem with this, however, is that because we spend most of our time upgrading and updating (as we are told to do) we don't have any room left for the eternal TRUTH and ALL that HE is offering to us. We opt for the social contracts that we make together, instead of the covenant that He made with us and for us. As one current protester so emotionally put it, those social contracts have been broken. This is the truest explanation of the rioting and protesting and societal anarchy that has been happening all around us, the brokenness of a bond that we thought we had all been making and updating and checking up on and participating in. Makes us wonder why we have spent so much of our time investing into a partnership that is destined to fail us; when all along (especially as Jesus followers) we have been given the gift of an UNBREAKABLE blood covenant with the creator of ALL THINGS, who does what the scripture above says, He makes a way where there is no way. We've had it the whole time.
1 Peter 2:9 (NOG)
"However, you are chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, people who belong to God. You were chosen to tell about the excellent qualities of God, who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light."
Two thousand and twenty has led us all (globally) down a dark path. From the start to the now, darkness has encroached like never before on all of us and it's only the BEGINNING. So how are we to dwell and live in and absorb and even still, shine His marvelous light when we are being affected on a severely personal level with seemingly unstoppable darkness?
Isaiah 60:1-3 (NIV)
"Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord rises upon you. See, the darkness covers the earth and thick darkness is over the peoples, but the Lord rises upon you and His glory appears over you. Nations will come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your dawn."
Refuse to continue buying into the LIES.
If it seems like we are repeating ourselves, ding ding, we are. We've said it before and we will continue to say it; God's ways are SIMPLE. That's it. It's the biggest revelation and the most underutilized one as well. EVERYTHING boils down to LIES vs. TRUTH. God is THE TRUTH, Jesus is the way, THE TRUTH and the life. So anything that we read in the bible about how God does things, is THE TRUTH. This means that when we encounter ANYTHING that is opposed to or doesn't represent or isn't anywhere close to what we read in the word...drumroll please... IT IS A LIE. This applies to ALL THINGS. God doesn't reserve some things for certain actions or give other things a different result based upon this, that and the other; NO! He is THE MASTER of taking the most complex things and simplifying them, because He created ALL OF IT.
For centuries we (humans) have managed to grab ahold of His simple TRUTH and piece by piece re-complicate it. Even our best efforts to interpret and analyze the scriptures have led us into a labyrinth. The GOOD NEWS is that getting out of the labyrinth isn't complicated at all. TRUTH is a STRAIGHT path as opposed to the side windings of a snake. Let's all close our eyes for a moment and imagine a beautifully manicured garden maze somewhere in the English countryside (probably on the property of a manor or estate). In this maze there are paths that lead to no where, there are other paths that connect with more paths and we are dropped right into the middle of this stunning garden maze. We only have one item with us, a fully charged battery operated cordless chainsaw. Dynamics have suddenly changed, haven't they? Of course we can choose to continue trying to find our way through this maze, hitting dead ends and turning around to retrace steps, hoping that the next attempt leads somewhere; or we push that start button and start cutting down those gorgeous hedges in order to remove all obstructions. Some of us are going to be appalled at the seeming lack of respect for nature and beauty of this maze and how much time and effort it took for the gardeners to create such elaborate foliage; and that is exactly why Jesus saw the need to offer a simple solution to the pharisees to just tear that temple (46 years in the making) down to the stubs (John 2:19). Because none of it comes close to comparing to the simple fact that God says in Isaiah 55:8 (NOG) "My thoughts are not your thoughts, and my ways are not your ways," declares Yahweh."; this means that our path is not entangled by the ups and downs of societal frustrations and disappointments, because we are following a path that God lays out for us.
Listen, there are some things that we MUST be reminded of time and again. This isn't because of a retention issue, it is because the simplicity of God is a major target of the enemy. The aim? Getting us to buy into the version of God that requires rules and regulations and staunch adherence and fear inducing directives that miss the point entirely. Alternatively, the aim of the enemy also is to get us to follow the misguidings of the popular and numbers based leadership and major on the minors while minoring on the majors of life. God cuts through all of it (Hebrews 4:12), equally. He makes our paths straight and our loads light (Matthew 8:28-30). This translates to us on a communal level as SIMPLY "follow the leader." The picture of Jesus we get from the bible as a leader is, found post resurrection in Revelation 1:16 which states that He has a sharp two edged sword coming out of His mouth. The preivous scripture in Hebrews says that this is a symbol of the word of God. The word of God is TRUTH that cuts right through everything that this world's lying voices and circumstances confront us with. So to follow Him, we must do likewise and chop chop our way right through the well groomed bushes of human systems of thought and behavior declaring TRUTH and making a way through anything that hedges us in a beautiful but restricting confinement called modern life.
The world we live in is getting smaller and smaller with each passing day, we must not allow the complexities of these changes to fool us into small minded thinking and understanding, giving up the power of our authority to the tempermentality of the masses. In stark contrast to these ever increasing pressures, we will find solace, comfort and peace in the simplicity of a God and a Father that has the ENTIRE UNIVERSE under His sovereignty. We KNOW and are fully CONFIDENT in our creator who keeps His word and His promises to ALWAYS be with us, walking and talking us through the valley of the shadow.