Jill asked me whether we'd be "blacked out" during the week between Christmas and New Year's, but I didn't really know and typically hadn't take the time to find out. "Got places to go, things to do, and people to see!" is how I sometimes unsuccessfully function, as I was soon to discover.
We ate our delicious chicken treats and drove off to Anaheim with a huge packed dinner in an insulated lunch bag, and jackets to put in the Main Street locker we favor. As we went along Ball Road, we saw the sign telling us to head into Disney's remote parking. Then came the sign, "Disneyland full. California Adventure open." That was okay by us, because our favorite attraction, "Soaring Over California," is in that park. But I began to wonder, "Do we have Premium passes--no blackout dates--or Deluxe, with minimal blackout dates?" So I asked the parking lot attendant and he said, "This is a triple blackout date. So you'd be better off going back out onto the street to go to Downtown Disney." I was grateful that Steve and I could enjoy the day no matter what, and frankly, glad we didn't have to explain a Disneyland closure to a carload of hyped-up little kids!
We enjoyed the beautiful day, wandering around the shops together and eating our snacks outside a bookstore. We played with remote control cars in one shop where you pay for your model car body and parts, then get to put them together in a "pit" surrounded by excited kids and adults, with a pit boss timing you. Sounds like a good birthday present for Steve! We enjoyed the giant creations in the Lego store, and ended up our 3 hours of free parking in the ESPN Zone playing air hockey. Steve picked up a lot of speed and coordination once he remembered what to do, and saw how competitive I was! Slammin'!
Christians can enjoy the life and circumstances God has allowed us whether or not those circumstances are to our liking. We could have gotten mad today at not checking our blackout dates, turned around and come home, but what would there be to praise God in that attitude and action? I'll certainly check next time, before our passes expire on January 7th.
Our family was disappointed that our Orange County relatives couldn't join is on Christmas Eve, but we were blessed by the 5:00 service and went home to a great meal and a fantastic evening, followed by a great Christmas Day. God can cause the wrath of man to praise Him, (Psalm 76:10) but why put Him to that test to begin with? Why nurture an angry demeanor that flares up at the slightest provocation when you can appropriate the peace of God's Spirit?
If Jesus could say, "I am meek and lowly in heart," (Matthew 11:29) is there any reason we cannot pray to have those characteristics too? Believers fail and act foolishly, as I can attest, but we can all learn and improve with God's help!
I really enjoyed reading the foreword and commentary on the Apostle Paul's epistle to the Philippians by Roger Mohrlag in the New Living Translation from my quiet time of two days ago.
Paul writes from prison to Christians who are experiencing opposition, encouraging them to imitate his life and attitudes. By speaking of his own courage, commitment, confidence, and contentment even in prison, Paul encourages them to respond similarly as they face opposition. In doing so, he shows us that a Christian life of joy, peace, contentment, prayer, thanksgiving, and devotion to Christ can transcend all circumstances. (emphasis mine)