Happy Birthday Mickey! 2 Reminders From Our Favorite Mouse
In honor of Mickey Mouse’s 85th birthday yesterday, here are 3 things Walt Disney said about him and something we can learn from each one.
“The life and ventures of Mickey Mouse have been closely bound up with my own personal and professional life. It is understandable that I should have sentimental attachment for the little personage who played so big a part in the course of Disney Productions and has been so happily accepted as an amusing friend wherever films are shown around the world. He still speaks for me and I still speak for him.”
Mickey represented Walt. They spoke for each other. Often, when people looked at one, they saw the best features and qualities of the other. Because Walt had created Mickey (though Ub Iwerks was the artist behind the early Mickey Mouse shorts), and voiced him for a number of years, Mickey was literally an animated representation of Walt. No, they didn’t physically look a like, but to know one was to know much about the other one.
Similarly, Jesus shows us God the Father, and to know the Father is to know the Son. And we are being transformed into the likeness of Jesus.
“The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of His being, sustaining all things by His powerful word.” (Hebrews 1:3)
“For those God foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.” (Romans 8:29)
Question: When people look at you, what do they learn about who God is?
“I only hope that we never lose sight of one thing — that it was all started by a mouse.”
The Walt Disney Company (originally the Disney Brothers Studio) has come a long way since its inception in 1923 and Mickey’s “birth” in 1928. Now a multi-billion dollar corporation with divisions that range from theme parks & resorts to consumer products to television, to motion pictures of seemingly-infinite variety. And yet all the success they can claim over these years can ultimately be traced back to that little cartoon mouse.
He’s a symbol in some ways of the spirit, attitude, and approach of Walt and his team. The truer the company stays to those values of creativity, innovation, quality, over-delivering, and providing family entertainment, the more successful they will be and the better reputation they will maintain. The farther they stray from it, the more at risk they will be at losing both.
Consider the areas in your life where you would say you’ve been successful–whether that’s in your career, raising your children, exercise, a hobby, relationships, your walk of faith, etc. What can you trace the source of that success to? In other words, complete this sentence:
“I only hope we never lose sight one one thing — that it was all started by ____________.”
What goes in that blank? No matter what the area of success is, let me suggest to you that what goes in the blank is one word: “Jesus.”
“Every good and perfect gift is from above,coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” (James 1:17).
Every good thing comes from God. In John 15, Jesus says that apart from Him we can do nothing. God is our source for all good things, and the growth, development, and ultimate (and lasting) success of those things comes from and through Jesus.
But we forget. We come to Him and at first we recognize that He is our source. Then the world tells us it’s our skill that makes us successful, our talent that people admire, our work that gets rewarded, our greatness that we can claim. We lose sight of that “one thing.”
And then we lose sight of Him. We get busy. We get self-focused. We get forgetful. Just like Martha did in Luke 10, we are doing what we know needs to be done, out of our own strength and resources, getting so preoccupied that we forget to make time and space in our lives for Him who is our “one thing.”
Question: In what area of your life are you most likely to forget your “one thing”? How can you take one step to remember?