“ And it shall come to pass afterward
That I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh;
Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
Your old men shall dream dreams,
Your young men shall see visions." Joel 2:28
Last night when I went to bed I found myself thinking of the strangest thing. I was completely (randomly) thinking about Mickey Mouse. Truly, the thought came out of nowhere, and all the sudden I couldn't stop thinking about this cartoon character who always, ALWAYS brings a smile to me. Mickey Mouse is one of those rare treasures that, no matter how old you get, you will never be too old for Mickey. That got me thinking about other characters on TV and in movies, and I thought of my kids who used to be huge fans of things like Sesame Street, Barney, and the Backyardigans, and now they would never consider themselves fans of those baby shows. But Mickey Mouse? He will always be welcome.
And that got me thinking about Walt Disney. I know a lot of Christian organizations and people have problems with the Disney corporation as a whole, but I have to say that Walt Disney was a true visionary who had the heart of God. He really did. His goal in life was to entertain- to bring joy and happiness to children and families. His goal wasn't actually this billion dollar corporation that Disney now is today, that happened as a result of his visions. A few months ago we watched a documentary on the life of Walt Disney that was really neat to see. It was really something to hear how his ideas way back then were met with such criticism and skepticism, and yet he persevered and created something truly magical every single time.
One thing that really stuck with me though from that documentary was when they were discussing how Walt had this vision of creating a TV show for the first time. The show was called "Disneyland" and when they were discussing the very first episode, they showed us a picture of Walt working on his notes for the show. Right there, in the middle of the page, I very clearly caught in bold letters "The Parable of The Talents". That struck me big time, that not only did Walt Disney want to bring joy and happiness through entertainment, but that he also wanted to share the truths from the Bible. I have no idea if he was successful with that- did the parable of the talents end up on Disneyland? I'll probably never know, but it really cemented for me that Walt Disney really had the heart of God, and that his visions and dreams for the Disney corporation- the movies, the theme parks, the TV shows, the merchandise, etc. all came from God.
Which makes it completely ironic that so many Christians take a stance that "Disney is evil", don't you think?
But the whole point in thinking on Walt Disney- both last night and this morning, is thinking on this idea of a visionary. When is the last time we heard of one? When I hear the word visionary, I immediately think of Disney, and I think of Henry Ford. But who are our modern day visionaries? Who are these people who have the heart of God and are going to help shape our future? Could it be retiring Apple CEO Steve Jobs? Could it be Microsoft's Bill Gates? Could it be one of the many people high up in the tech world? Or could it be some second grader living in Santa Fe who has dreams of a city in the sky? Could it be some unknown microbiologist who makes unique discoveries about water that will literally change the way we live?
I want to pray for these visionaries of the future. I want to pray that God would embolden them and give them the tools they need to see these ideas come to fruition. I want to pray that these visionaries ideas will bring great joy and happiness to people once again- just as Walt Disney did in times that certainly needed joy. Joel says that "your old men shall dream dreams, and your young men shall see visions". These people are here, now. They are out there having these dreams and these visions and wondering if there is anything to these dreams and visions. I am praying that God will show them the truth and give them everything they need to make these visions and dreams a reality. Because God knows, we need more people on this world like Walt Disney- a man who knew the heart of God and loved all people, but especially children.