Haunted Mansion: Are You Living Inside Your Berm?

Haunted Mansion Show BuildingOne of the greatest challenges for Imagineers when it came time to build the Haunted Mansion is one that most guests never think of, and fewer yet actually see evidence of.


Think about the size of the mansion itself. Now think about everything you experience in it–the stretching room, the portrait gallery, the corridor of doors, the séance room, the ballroom, the attic, and the graveyard. There’s simply no way to fit all of that inside the building you see when you approach the mansion. The Imagineers are good, but nobody is that good!


What to do then? The solution is simple and obvious, yet subtle and surprising if you’ve never thought about it: there is an additional show building that houses most of the attraction that sits outside the berm (the high wall of earth and plants the train tracks are built on).


{Spoiler Alert!} When you enter the stretching room, the room actually does move. The floor descends (essentially, you’re in a very fancy and elaborate elevator), and when the doors open, the hallway you walk through takes you under the berm and into the show building. It’s extraordinarily difficult to see the building from inside the park, much less get a photo of it, but if you look closely at the photo attached to this post you’ll see the top of a green building behind the trees. That’s the Haunted Mansion show building.


When you really think about all that you experience, it’s no surprise that the Imagineers had to reach outside the confines of the park itself to do what they needed to do, is it? The park has limitations, so to tell the full story and give the complete experience, it was necessary to reach outside the berm. [Tweet that!]


Previously I’ve likened the berm to our worldview, but this time we’re going to change the metaphor. Consider what it takes to be the kind of Christian–the kind of person–you want to be. You know you should be loving, gracious, forgiving, merciful, kind, a servant, humble, righteous, a peace-maker, obedient to God, and more. So, how are you doing on those?


If you’re anything like me, you want your life to be characterized by those, and you try really hard, but you fail, repeatedly. I dig down deep and muster all the strength, willpower, and dedication I have, only to fall flat. Why is that?


Sadly, it’s very simple: I’m trying to do it on my own. I rely on my own resources, on what’s inside the “berm” of my life. But the reality is, I don’t have it in me to do all those things–or to do any of them the way I need to and want to. When it comes to having the full experience of the Christian life, and showing Christ to others fully, I have to reach outside myself. I have to access the resources that can’t fit within the berm of my life.


“We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of His will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please Him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to His glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience….” (Colossians 1:9-11)


I am not the source of the strength I need, and neither are you. [Tweet that!] We have to connect to the One who is outside of ourselves and ask Him for His strength, His resources. When we do, we’ll grow in our capacity to love with His love, serve with His humility, forgive with His forgiveness, give with His generosity, and more. 


That’s grace. Dallas Willard described it this way: “Grace is God acting in my life to accomplish that which I cannot accomplish on my own.” [Tweet that!] Grace is God giving you His resources to do in and through your life what you simply don’t have the resources or ability to do on your own.


It won’t happen right away, or all at once. As with everything else in our walk with Christ, this is a process. but the more you open yourself up to Him, consciously walking with Him through your daily life (Brother Lawrence calls it “practicing the presence of God”), the more you’ll find yourself living with His resources. And when people ask you, “How can you possibly be that loving/forgive that person/extend that much grace?” you can tell them that it’s not from you. You’ve got a source outside your berm.


Question: What is one time when you have lived with this conscious awareness of His presence, and so did something you were surprised you could do? If you haven’t (yet), what is one way you can intentionally practice His presence in your life? Talk about it in the Comments below.

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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