I had a strange dream last night. I was doing a Q & A session at a Christian conference, and someone unexpectedly asked, “What do you think of Mickey Mouse and the Magic Kingdom?”
Considering it a very odd question, I initially started to brush it off. “Well, I don’t really have much to say about Mickey from a Biblical perspective,” I said.
But suddenly I had a flash of insight…
“One thing I would point out, however, is that the original Disney franchise thrived because people were thirsting for something magical—which we would call supernatural or miraculous in the Christian life,” I explained. “Glass slippers, fairy dust, magic wands, and kisses that can raise the dead were symbolic of the kinds of things we’re yearning for God to do in our lives. We inherently sense that we’re unable to accomplish these things without His supernatural involvement.”
As the dream continued, I pointed out other parallels. “God’s kingdom IS a ‘magic’ kingdom. When Jesus preached on the kingdom of God, He performed healings and did all kinds of miracles. In His kingdom—as in an old Disney movie—each of His sons and daughters is a prince or princess, and we should treat other Christians like that today.”
Right before the dream came to an end, I went on a rant about how our churches and our Christian lives today should rediscover the “magic”—reflecting more of the miracle-working power of God.
Living Happily Ever After
After waking from this unusual dream, I’ve been reflecting on why we love the Disney fairy tales so much. Yes, there have been some great love stories, like Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty. But it’s not just that the protagonists are handsome, beautiful, hard-working, or intelligent. They’ve needed something magical and supernatural in order to get to their happy ending.
In the same way, the Christian life is a magical, supernatural life, energized by the Holy Spirit instead of mere human effort. Without Christ living His life through us, all we have is dead religion—which doesn’t make for a good fairy tale at all.
Just as in the Cinderella story, we all need three things in order to experience a happy ending in our Christian life: (1) A love relationship with Jesus, the Prince; (2) Recognition of our glass slipper, the customized purpose we were born to fulfill; and (3) Reliance on the power of the Spirit to bring about His “magic” in our life.
Cinderella’s life was dreary until she experienced these three things, and ours will be as well. But the good news is that God wants to come on the scene and work some of His magic to turn things around for us.
Yet you may ask, “Is it really possible to experience a ‘happily ever after’ kind of life?”
I understand why you may be skeptical. This world is full of discouraging circumstances, making it exceedingly difficult to “wish upon a star,” as the Disney theme song prescribes.
Nevertheless, King David’s words at the end of Psalm 23 show us that “happily ever after” is possible, after all: “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”
David was a king who had met the Lord as his loving Prince and Good Shepherd. And He was confident the “goodness and mercy” of that Prince would last him all the days of his life.
And notice that while we all hope for a “happily ever after” outcome in this present life, God gives us something even better to look forward to—happiness with Him for all eternity…forever.
No wonder the classic Disney movies are so popular. They tap into our heart’s longing for our Heavenly Prince, our glass slipper, and the magic available by His Spirit.
It’s fitting that we’re treated to these classic Disney stories decade after decade. We all need periodic refresher courses in the supernatural, love-filled Christian life, reminding us of our high calling as princes and princesses in God’s magical kingdom.
Some stories never get old, nor should they.
The majic of love and a love relationship with our sweet Jesus, It is wonderful.
For years, many Christians have focused in bashing Disney over the use of magic, witchcraft, and wizardry.
Finally someone addresses the real and deeper issue – WHY are people drawn to Disney fairy tales?
This message hits home by acknowledging that, as spiritual beings, we desperately require a spiritual awareness in life. Christians who understand this and keep it as core to their faith – miracles, the supernatural, – have the real meaning of the coming of Jesus Christ and His Kingdom. It is NOT of this world!
Jim, cousin David here. The irony of my current spot deserves a comment. I am here at Disney watching son Jack play college tennis. So arriving yesterday I saw a huge welcome sign to the Park. “Welcome to Disney, where Dreams come true”. I couldn’t help but wonder how many folks come here, are amazed, only to return home exhausted, quickly returning to business as usual. My relationship with Jesus, available to all, is today tomorrow and forever! So I come back after this pondering and 8 hours of tennis and see your blog!!!! I could just smile…. Thanks Jim for your thoughtfulness. d.
Awesome comments, Dave. Great encouragement.
Really good insight. Made me think about Christianity in a way I never have before.