The Mad Tea Party: Where is Your Focus?
One of my favorite rides in Fantasyland is the Mad Tea Party, aka “the teacups” aka “how can you possibly ride that thing without getting nauseous?”. Fantasyland has at least two attractions and one shop dedicated to the animated feature Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. The actual Alice in Wonderland attraction didn’t opened until June of 1958, but the Mad Tea Party was an Opening Day attraction, though in a slightly different place than it is now (it used to be where the carousel currently sits, and the carousel was farther forward, towards the castle).
The reason most people seem to not like the attraction is that it makes them very dizzy, or they just don’t like spinning. I kind of like being dizzy and I think spinning is fun (whatever that may say about me). I’ve also learned a secret to keep from getting dizzy if I choose to. The trick is to have someone sitting across from you and stare at their left shoulder the entire ride. Keep your eyes locked on there and you generally won’t get dizzy (or it will be very little). You can probably look other places too, but the left shoulder has always worked for me. Of course, this requires having someone willing to ride with you. That’s always the challenge for me.
How many times in life do we feel like things are spinning out of control and we’re caught in the middle, spinning, getting dizzy and nauseous? What do we do in times like that? The same thing we do when writing the teacups: fix our eyes on one unchanging point that goes with us through the madness. But what point is that?
Hebrews chapter 4 says,
Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men so that you will not become weary and lose heart.
The only way to endure the chaos is to keep our eyes fixed on Him. He is in the midst of it all, “riding with us” and has promised not to abandon us.
Something else I’ve noticed about the Mad Tea Party is that when you’re riding in it, it feels completely random, and the movement almost senseless. All you know when you’re on it is that you’re spinning wildly, almost out of control. But when viewed from outside—especially from above—there is an order and a pattern to the movements. Our lives are the same way. They may feel random, directionless, confusing, and even sickening. We may search, but find no pattern. And yet, it is there. In the midst of the frenzy, we must trust Him whose ways are higher than our ways, and whose thoughts are higher than our thoughts. He has a view we don’t…yet.
We may still get a little dizzy on the ride sometimes; Jesus never promised us an easy one. But He did promise to be with us. If we don’t consciously, intentionally, and regularly fix our all eyes on Him, though, how will we ever know?