Casey Jr. Circus Train: Is Thinking You Can Enough?

Casey Jr. Circus Train

Casey Jr. Circus Train was almost an Opening Day attraction, but it didn’t quite make it. Originally it was going to be more of a roller coaster style attraction, but there were some safety concerns, so it was retooled  and actually debuted on July 31, 1955, two weeks after Disneyland opened.

At the time Casey Jr. premiered, there wasn’t much to see. Storybook Land was still the Canal Boats of the World, which is to say the banks of the canal were pretty much just dirt. Once that ride became Storybook Land, with all of it’s intricately detailed miniatures there was much more to see.

Casey Jr. has the distinction of being 1/2 of one of only two pairs of attractions that come from the same movie–excluding Storybook Land. (Dumbo and Casey Jr. both come from Dumbo. Can you guess the other pair?) It’s a fun, whimsical attraction that’s almost as enjoyable to watch as it is to ride. Who can argue with an attraction that has a passenger car with bars on it labeled “Monkeys”?

When I think of Casey Jr. Circus Train—both the attraction and the character in the movie, one phrase comes to mind right away: “I think I can, I think I can.”

That’s a great message, right? Confidence. Looking forward. Accomplishing goals. That’s exactly what God wants for us, isn’t it?

I don’t think so. We can seem to accomplish a lot, but it takes more than just the positive attitude of Casey Jr. In fact, when I hear, “I think I can, I think I can”, my very next thought is the Shel Silverstein poem The Little Blue Engine. It goes like this:

The little blue engine looked up at the hill.
His light was weak, his whistle was shrill.
He was tired and small, and the hill was tall,
And his face blushed red as he softly said,
“I think I can, I think I can, I think I can.”

So he started up with a chug and a strain,
And he puffed and pulled with might and main.
And slowly he climbed, a foot at a time,
And his engine coughed as he whispered soft,
“I think I can, I think I can, I think I can.”

With a squeak and a creak and a toot and a sigh,
With an extra hope and an extra try,
He would not stop — now he neared the top —
And strong and proud he cried out loud,
“I think I can, I think I can, I think I can!”

He was almost there, when — CRASH! SMASH! BASH!
He slid down and mashed into engine hash
On the rocks below… which goes to show
If the track is tough and the hill is rough,
THINKING you can just ain’t enough!

Sometimes thinking you can just ain’t enough. Bad grammar aside, that’s the lesson of Scripture, too.

“Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.” (Phil. 2:12-13)

I can do everything through Him who gives me strength.” (Phil. 4:13)

“Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in Me. I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from Me you can do nothing.” (John 15:4-5)

Casey Jr.I have actually heard people say that in this last passage, “nothing” doesn’t really mean “nothing”. They downplay it. But the text seems pretty clear to me (even when I went back to the Greek). The good news is, there is an implied promise as we look at the rest of John 15 and the other passages I quoted (along with others). Without Him we can do nothing, but we have the promise of His presence, and because of that we can “bear much fruit.”

Sometimes thinking we can just isn’t enough. Those times are much-needed reminders of our dependence on Him—and of His promise to be with us as we “abide in Him”, or remain in Him. The closer we are to Him, the more fruit we can bear and the stronger we are—with His strength, the strength that comes from the Vine, not what little we can squeeze out as branches until we wither away.

Only in Him does “I think I can” mean anything. “I think I can…I know I can…as Christ gives me strength to do His will.”
Question: When have you had to rely on God’s strength, when “I think I can” just wasn’t enough? Talk about it in the comments below, or on our Facebook page.



Randy CraneRandy Crane is passionate about helping Christians, especially those with a Disney affinity, to discover and connect to their GOD-GIVEN PURPOSE AND VALUE, to build their lives to achieve TRUE SUCCESS AND MEANING, and to POSITIVELY IMPACT their world. For more than two decades, Randy has been leading individuals and teams into a greater joy and child-like appreciation of the world around them, equipping them to reach beyond what they have previously experienced and build a God-given identity and purpose. Ready to experience that for yourself? Tell us where to send SIX free videos all created to help answer the 3 questions you need to experience PEACE, FREEDOM, and PURPOSE!

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