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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Kingdom

I was eight years old the first time I got to visit the Magic Kingdom. I will never forget what that experience was like. Just like millions of other kids who have walked through those gates, I thought I had found the perfect place.

But the weeks leading up to that visit were like a young child's personal hell. I was convinced that someone had fooled with every clock and calendar around my house. There was no way it should be taking this long for the days to pass. With each day's end, I would mark one more day off, bursting in anticipation of what this World would be like. I had heard the stories from friends and family. I had seen the brochures and was a regular watcher of "Wonderful World of Disney" each week. Heck, I even knew the names of most of the Mouseketeers.

So, when the day came, I was sick to my stomach with excitement. You can imagine me standing on my tiptoes trying to see through the crowded monorail car, yearning for that first look at the Kingdom. It was stinking awesome!!

Now, would you think I was crazy if I told you that I got to the gate, after all that waiting and anticipation, and returned home without going in? You would think to yourself, "What!? Are you insane? You missed the best parts." And you'd be right.

I feel like many people today have that kind of experience with God. Most of us know "about" Him. We've heard the stories and the confessions of others who have experienced Him personally. But do we ever really enter the Kingdom? Do we ever go beyond this casual affirmation that He is there so that we can have a relationship with Him like He desires?

Look, if I hadn't gone deeper into the Kingdom, I would have never known what I missed. I would not have comprehended what it was like to ride Space Mountain. I would have never gotten my "real, authentic musket" from Pirates of the Caribbean (yes, there was a ride long before there was a movie). Most of all, I would have never known what all the Kingdom excitement was about. If you don't really know God or you can't say your relationship with Him is exciting, dangerous, or adventurous...I'd submit to you that you haven't gone deep enough. There is a whole big world awaiting you just inside the gates. You just have to be willing to enter in without hesitation.

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