I started writing this blog post with the words “one of my favorite parts,” then realized that I use that phrase way too often. Redo:
One thing I loved about being an EFY counselor was playing games for “Family Home Evening” on Monday nights. We would play ridiculous games with names like “Gotcha!” and “Killer Frog,” then ask the simple question, “How does this relate to the Gospel of Jesus Christ?” Every single week I was astounded by the deep connections that 14-18 year old kids could draw from playing silly games. Even more than any of the individual lessons that I learned from the games we played, I learned that “all things which have been given of God from the beginning of the world, unto man, are the typifying of [Christ]” and His Gospel.
It comes as no surprise then that on my trip to Disney this last week I learned things about the Gospel from Mickey Mouse.
I’m going to preface this by saying that, as a kid, I really didn’t get Mickey Mouse. I’ve always loved Disney, but I’ve looked on Mickey Mouse as more of a predecessor to later, greater icons than as anything special by himself. But now I feel I understand Mickey, and here’s why.
Wednesday night I watched a water show called “World of Color.” It was a really spectacular combination of fountains, lights, mist screens, projectors, bubbles, and jets of fire. The story, or focus, of the show seemed to me to be about love—love for life, for family and friends, and for that special someone. It was a truly joyous experience, and it made me think about how wonderful my life is when I’m focused on loving others.
Right after “World of Color” we raced off to watch a show called “Fantasmic,” starring Mickey Mouse. The plot of the show goes something like this: Mickey dreams amazing things, Peter Pan fights Captain Hook on a life-sized pirate ship, Princes and Princesses dance and sing, evil villains plot to take over Mickey’s dream and turn it dark, Mickey has a great one-liner (“you may think you’re powerful, but hey, this is my dream!”) and blasts away all the baddies with his awesomeness. Fireworks ensue. Here’s what I got from this show—good beats evil, and does it really awesomely. The world may try to paint its way of life as being glamorous, powerful, and even inevitable, but God’s way, the good way, Mickey’s way, is truly and actually awesome. It’s fun, it looks cool, it involves dancing and singing and swinging from pirate ships, it’s awesome.
I thought I was done with shows after Fantasmic on Wednesday night, but luckily one of my buddies talked me into going to see one more, “Mickey and the Magic Map.” It was a Broadway musical quality show, with about 30 minutes of singing, dancing and cool costumes—basically it was right up my alley, the stuff that I live and breathe for. The story of this particular show was all about following your dreams, never giving up, and being yourself. While watching it I got excited for the future and all the amazing things that it will bring, and even more committed to working hard to accomplish the goals that I have set for myself.
After seeing all of these shows about Mickey Mouse, I revisited my apathetic opinion of him. I decided that Mickey isn’t just a precursor to greater icons, but rather, he is the symbol of them all. Mickey represents goodness, purity, chasing your dreams, and always striving to be better.
Those aren’t the only things I learned this week (and did I mention the amazing people I met and how much fun I had?) but I think that’s probably good for one blog post.