Magic Wand? or a Combo of Hard Work and Faith?February 5th, 2014
Playlist: “A Dream Is a Wish Your Heart Makes” (from my album “A Chance to Dream”)
“If you eat your dinner, I’ll take you to Disneyland some day”. This was the only conditional phrase I ever heard my Dad say. He didn’t do much of the disciplining or raising us, my mom did. So, when he did, I took it seriously.
He was either tremendously brave or completely ignorant to have made this promise to me, sitting in a small, grimy kitchen of our rented apartment in Zagreb in the winter of 1974. Disneyland was then as far and impossible to us as Mars is to the kids in the US now. Maybe even a tad further away.
But I didn’t know that. He was my Dad who didn’t make many promises. I knew this one would come true no matter what.
I adored him, as much as I loved and adored (and still do) my mother. From very early on, I wanted to make them both proud and happy. Since I “happened” to them when they were only 19, I wanted to ‘make up’ for ‘messing up their hopes and dreams’.
So, I vowed that my Dad’s promise would come true no matter what.
Thirty years later, my Dad and I walked through the gates of Disneyland. Yes, the way how it all happened was nothing like we could have ever imagined, still we didn’t care… the DREAM really did COME TRUE and the promise was kept.
BUT… a lot of work went into ‘helping’ to make that magic happen.
My kids know this story. And they understand why I let my tears stream down my cheeks every time we pass the gates into the Magic Kingdom. (Although it wouldn’t be surprising to see grown-ups cry at the gates, looking at the prices for the overcrowded park with immensely long lines).
I let myself be completely emotional. I give myself permission to step into the magic, to ‘jump into the chalk painting on the sidewalk’ and re-live the dreams that came true for me.
This time, as we visited Disneyland, I tried to be fully AWAKEN and aware of what exactly I was feeling… Deep inside, I was feeling grateful. Grateful like someone who has never been a runner, but with a support of a great friend trained hard and long for a marathon, and despite the task that seemed impossible, ran through the finish line in one piece and not even in the last place.
I was grateful for all the blessings (or ‘magical’ moments) of my life. And for being aware that all those magical moments didn’t just ‘happen’ for me… The best ones took hard work (yes, the births of my sons was hard work, and watching them grow into such fine boys has been hard work, and becoming famous was a LOT of hard work, and my marriage is TONS of hard work…)
Yes, I believe that God has guided my feet through it all and in His love has blessed me, but I still had to move those feet myself. God showed me the way, but I still had to step onto it. Even to recognize His presence in my life, I had to listen, keep my heart and my soul open – which takes a lot of hard work, because the world is full of distractions that offer “easy and comfortable’ solutions.
Love, Faith, Hope… it all takes work.
When I told bed-time stories and fairy-tales to my kids, it occurred to me that the “magic wand” usually only represented a change of heart, a paradigm shift, or at least willingness to change… the hardest work of all.
But this change, the conversion of heart, the willingness to awaken, to step out of what’s comfortable and believe that all is possible IS powerful and magical (or “miraculous”).
For that reminder, and for the opportunity to reflect on ‘miracles’ in my life and on my faith journey in an unusual way, I’ll pay the day pass and stand in line patiently (and of course, to encourage my boys to be Dream Builders 🙂
Photos used with permission.
This blog was first posted at Tajci’s blog, Journeying Through Life and Taking Notes.