When I was two years old I spent a fair amount of time in the vicinity of a television, particularly because there was only one room in which we could congregate. Due to the fairly unremarkable shows back in those days, I would spend my time playing with my toys with the black and white screen as my background. There were, however, two exceptions: commercials that featured catchy jingles and The Mickey Mouse Club. As young as I was, I learned the theme song quickly and happily sang my own version – “M-I-C-‘CAKEY’- Y-M-O-U-S-E.” I believe I became the resident entertainer, at least during that particular moment in my life.
As so many families in the sixties, we continued our fascination with Disney watching Walt Disney’s Wonderful World of Color. They were truly family-oriented shows with good messages that made us laugh and cry as we enjoyed them together. There was something magical and compelling about being whisked away to other times and places and joining in on exciting adventures without stepping out of your home. Somewhere in the midst of these years, I learned about Disneyland. At one point there was a coloring contest in which the grand prize was an all-expense paid vacation to the California park. Traveling distance was not in my parents’ wheelhouse, and so I really wanted to win that trip. But, my coloring skills not being as appealing as my childhood vocal ability, I did not get to go to Disneyland, but…
As fate would have it, we wound up living in Florida where we visited the Disney Magic Kingdom and the Disney MGM Studios Parks many times. (I also eventually got to go to my beloved Disneyland in California!) Attending a Disney Theme Park is truly a celebration! One place that we missed out on, however, was Epcot Center, Walt Disney’s “Experimental Prototype Community of the Future.” Walt’s original vision was to actually create a futuristic city, and the park’s initial offerings were tailored to the interests of adults.
We just had the blessing of visiting Epcot at the beginning of December 2017. With time and technology, many things have changed and displays and experimental presentations have been turned into rides and video games. Still, it was very educational and entertaining and well worth our trip and the cost. As I looked around and considered the imagination, creativity, and skill it has taken to design and build such a place of amusement, this one thought entered my mind, “All because a man could draw a mouse.” Everything in the Disney Parks has its origins in the work of an animator. Though Walt Disney himself had many more creative ideas and ventures, I wondered if he realized the direction his empire would take and all the technology that would come into being to make his dream a reality. Were his reasons for all that he accomplished selfless, or largely driven by the benefits for him and his progeny?
Motive aside, Disney’s ingenuity falls far short of a supremely creative being: our Creator God. One can find passages all throughout his Word that speak about his creativity. In fact, the very beginning, the very end and even the middle of the Bible relate the wonders of his works. In the book of Genesis we see how he created the world out of nothing, forming the water, the sky, and the land, night and day, light and darkness, and populating the world with creatures in each element. Psalm 104 is replete with descriptions of all that God did in creation and his ongoing work. Revelation contains a great summary of God’s creative power, stating, “Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created,” (Revelation 5:11, ESV).
At this time of year we focus on the birth of Jesus Christ, God’s Son, and how God sent him into the world to bring atonement for the sin of mankind. It was completely selfless for God to give his perfect Son as a sacrifice for us. While a man can imagine the direction of his future, God knew the future from before time began. It was “all because God could…” that he did the only thing that would save us. Everything he has given us and has done for us has its origins in who he is: a good, loving gracious and merciful God. Creative, yes, but genuinely altruistic as he watches over us, his most prized creation.
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