Lessons from Disney World, part three

It is very good to have a plan.  Just don’t hold it too tightly.

Six days and seven nights at Disney World.  Four parks, plus a special shopping district, and multiple resorts with additional minor attractions.  Special lunches and breakfasts and dinners that include up close and personal visits with the real Disney characters.  Special events and attractions at limited venues.  Three adults.  One child.  Two guys.  Two gals.  Two Disney “veterans.”  Two Disney “newbies.”

Yeah, we needed a plan.  Thanks a million to Phoebe, my mother-in-law for working so hard to organize a basic game plan before we arrived in Orlando, based in no small part on input from friends and family with much more Disney expertise than we had.  I tend to figure out things as I go, and make plans on the fly.  Had I been in charge of our agenda, we almost certainly would have missed out on many of the things that we enjoyed during our time there.  Here are just a few images of the fruits of good planning:

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Life is much the same.  If we don’t face it with intentionality, purpose, and some kind of well-considered plans, we will likely miss out on some of the best in life.  We may enjoy those things we stumble upon, but we will shortchange ourselves of the full richness that God desires us to experience in life.  While it is true we cannot actually live beyond the present moment, and can waste a lot of energy trying to do so, we also do well to be mindful of where we are headed and why we are headed there.

But, guess what?  We didn’t stick to all of our plans while we were at Disney World.  We had to take into account our level of energy (and sanity) from day to day, what we actually did and didn’t enjoy once we experienced it, and new possibilities that cropped up during our time.  And so, each day involved deciding which plans to keep, which plans to scrub, and what new plans to make.  Had we not been willing to be flexible, Disney would probably have been a miserable mess.

That sounds like life, too, doesn’t it?  Plans and purposeful decision-making are essential, but without flexibility, we snap.  Sometimes, today just doesn’t unfold like I anticipated it would yesterday.  I can stay hung up on yesterday’s expectations and plans, or I can regroup, adapt, and face life on life’s terms today.

While we’re at it, here are a few Butner family images of Disney memories that we owe to our willingness to adapt (Chemaine would kill me if I posted the picture of her sitting on the “Barrel of Fun” – the best “ride” at Disney that only cost 25 cents per foot-massaging minute):

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