“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.”-Matthew 7:7*
It had been thirty minutes and we were still standing in line. Thank goodness there was air conditioning and shelter from the sun. I looked down at my granddaughter who was nothing but smiles and patiently waiting. She had been anticipating this moment for months and in a few short minutes, she will get her turn.
My husband and I decided to take our family to Orlando for Mardi Gras week. We were not thrilled about the ten-hour drive or going to the happiest place on earth, Disneyworld. But we would get to spend eight days with our granddaughters, daughter, son-in-law, and son which was a marvelous trade-off. My eight-year-old granddaughter, Jaelyn, had so much enthusiasm for meeting her favorite princesses at Disneyworld. Who knew they had turned the grand meetings with the royalty into a ride with lines and wait times up to forty minutes? She clutched her autograph book and was ready to spend time with her favorite characters. This quiet, shy, little girl was ready to put herself in the spotlight, for a brief moment, in order to meet her princesses and make her dream a reality.
We walked into the park and the first person we saw was Mary Poppins. Not a princess, but still a favorite for Jaelyn. She walked right up to her and Mary Poppins asked if she would like to stroll with her. Off they shuffled, hand in hand, having a chat. I watched Jaelyn as she hung on to every word from Mary and was so focused on the Disney character. I might add how wonderful, entertaining, and in character the performers are and what an impression they leave on the little ones. Jaelyn asked Mary for her autograph, which she graciously gave her, and then I watched her walk back to us with a smile so big it linked from one ear to the other. My little, quiet, shy Jaelyn had the confidence to spend time with Mary Poppins; without fear of being on her own, carrying on a conversation, and walking back to our group with her head held high.
I witnessed this every time she met a character or princess all day long. In total there were ten characters which she patiently waited in line and bravely walked up to them on her own, would engage in a conversation, asked for an autograph, and smiled real big for the camera. At one point, I had tears in my eyes in witnessing her joy and enthusiasm in meeting her heroes. It was such a special moment and well worth the crowds, wait times, and not so friendly people around us all day. I wanted to possess Jaelyn’s devotion in forgoing actual rides and attractions to stand in line to meet her princesses.
Sometimes it takes a child who believes in fairytales, princesses, and happily ever after, to show me, one who has been hardened by the cruelness of this world, the joy in having dreams, waiting patiently, and inspired to make them come true. Incredibly, this is how I experienced a simple life lesson, which was lived out in a crowded theme park, on Mardi Gras day with my family.
* The Holy Bible, New International Version Copyright 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society