Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Great moments with a great man

10:55 p.m. Today's project was to take our teenage grandsons with us to Disneyland. We definitely looked forward to going when park attendance would be light and we could spend less time in line, thus enjoying more rides. Besides, the boys had earned $25 apiece and were looking forward to spending it! To save money, we packed egg salad and turkey sandwiches in a lunch bag with frozen blocks, along with a bag of non-refrigeratable snacks. On arrival, we placed our food in a locker, and went on our way.

Short lines gave us the chance to try new rides, even for us annual passholders, and made it a great day. We got drenched on Splash Mountain; boarded the raft and toured Tom Sawyer's Island, and tried the Toon Town roller coaster, firsts for all of us. The haunted mansion was definitely switched up for Halloween, very colorful. (Of course, escaping the muggy outdoors made that a nice choice). To my surprise, both boys took an active part in the guitar and clavinova performance activities in the "Innoventions" exhibit. I don't think Steve and I had been in that one since our early days of marriage!
I did have some new concerns about Steve's Alzheimers, however. He had trouble figuring where to sit in the Jungle Cruise boat, nervously changing from where the attendant had told us to sit because the boys were a couple of people apart from us. Of course I awkwardly followed him, hanging up the boarding process for passengers behind us. He has no recognition of the fact that Xavier and Adrian are 8th and 9th graders who don't need to be sitting right next to us, or even in the same boat...and they aren't going to go off with a stranger! Keeping Steve with us, making sure one or another of the boys went with him to the restroom, at least to wait outside the door to make sure he came back to where we were, made for some challenging times, but it worked out all right. I can see going with maybe another couple in future, not because Steve might wander off, but he might forget where he'd last seen me if it's just the two of us. Before I get too far with this train of thought, I am reminded that in one of my new favorite scriptures, Matthew 6:34, Jesus warns against borrowing trouble: "Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble." Amen to that, Lord!
We wrapped up our day about 6:00 p.m., with two rides around the entire park on the steam locomotive. So relaxing for all of our tired legs! We got to Main Street to collect our belongings from the locker about a quarter of 7, kind of nixing the idea of watching the big parade, so we headed toward the exit. Steve said, "Every time we go past that [Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln] I want to go in, but we don't." So I said, "Let's go in then, but get restroom taken care of first, so we can go home from there." I have to admit, since we are talking about Honest Abe here, that I was thinking, "We don't go in because it's boring!" But I realized it would be good for the boys, at least, and hoped it would keep their attention. And a fleeting thought that we probably won't renew our passes for the next year made this more important for Steve to enjoy.
As the reverent, dignified atmosphere of the foyer enveloped us, with its mock-up of the Nation's Capitol, portraits, and a bust of Lincoln, I was taken back to the last time I was there: 1964, when it first opened, on an 8th grade American History field trip! The theater was beautiful, the life story of Lincoln artfully drawn, and the Civil War photographs compelling. One painting of the 16th president standing alone in the White House, in the midst of deciding whether to commence the war, had a quote of his being read by the narrator: "I have faith in God, and I know He hates slavery and injustice." As a Christian, one whose ancestors were freed by this man, I was just overwhelmed with gratitude to God for raising up this wartime President to what has been called "the loneliest office in the world."
When the very lifelike model of Lincoln stood from his chair (reminiscent of the Lincoln Memorial Steve and I have had the privilege to visit in person) to deliver a speech about the meaning of liberty, and the fact that only from within can this nation's liberty be lost, I thought of the prescience of words spoken 150 years ago for today. We had all best guard our liberty--too many good men have died to preserve it!
Yet Lincoln was rejected by half the nation and eventually assassinated. Our Lord Jesus was rejected by men, and crucified. God's sovereign will is beyond our comprehension, and will ever be so. Yet "I know that whatever God does, it shall be forever. Nothing can be added to it, and nothing taken from it. God does it that men should fear before Him." (Ecclesiastes 3:14)
In my own relatively obscure life, I have been facing a good deal of rejection lately, and I must submit to the Lord in every instance. May my legacy, my contribution to the testimony of belivers, be to humbly and trustfully grow closer to my Lord, keep only Him in first place in my heart, and walk in incomparable, incomprehensible joy!

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