The Partners Statue: Keep Your Vision Clear
Right in the middle of Disneyland, in the Central Plaza, or “Hub,” stands the Partners Statue. I’ve written before about this statue, and how it serves as a reminder of extravagant gifts from our Father. But guests who have been going to Disneyland for only the last 20 years or so may not realize that this statue wasn’t always there.
The Partners Statue only became part of Disneyland in 1993. At first, there were just planters in that spot. In the mid-1980’s, various promotions made use of that space in a bid to increase attendance. Among them were a gigantic jukebox (with a DJ at the bottom) for “Blast to the Past” and a “Cage of Death” (a huge metal globe with a motorcycle rider inside performing various stunts) during “Circus Fantasy”.
The disruption to the carefully laid out theme and storytelling, to say nothing of almost totally obscuring the view of Sleeping Beauty Castle, greatly upset the Imagineers. To help keep this from happening again, and to honor Walt Disney, who had passed away more than two decades earlier, the idea for the Partners Statue was born.
To learn more about the history of this park icon (including what Walt is really pointing at), see my recent Fun Fact Friday post on Babes in Disneyland.
For today, the lesson is in the why the Partners Statue is there. All kinds of “great ideas” were put in the Central Hub to promote various events, but they had a tendency to obscure the view of the park icon—the weenie that draws you forward. So the Imagineers came up with a tribute to Walt Disney, which also served to make sure that our view could never again be blocked by something that didn’t really belong there.
Our natural tendency is to do the same thing. We get distracted. We find “good” things (some very good, some not so much) and we set them up at the center of our lives, focusing our attention—and maybe even our adoration—on them. When we do, we block our view and lose our focus on the One who should be our main focus, the One who calls to us and draws us forward.
“Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God.” (Colossians 3:1)
“But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” (Matthew 6:33)
“Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires.” (Romans 8:5)
”You will keep in perfect peace
him whose mind is steadfast,
because he trusts in You.” (Isaiah 26:3)
So how do we keep our focus on God? It sounds easy, but in reality it can be difficult to do. After all, does it mean to just think about God all the time? If so, how do we do our jobs? How do we drive? Can we only watch TV or movies or listen to music that explicitly talks about Him in every line? I don’t think so. Paul gave some great encouragement to the Philippian church that should serve us well:
“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.” (Philippians 4:8-9)
As usual, it’s not rules. It’s not a set of steps. It’s character and relationship. These words are our guideline. The more we focus here, the closer we relate to God and are shaped into the image and likeness of His Son. Our lives and our hearts keep Him at the center, and our view of Him who matters most is unobscured.
It’s a process, a journey. Don’t beat yourself up if you’re not there yet. Just keep loving Him and following Him as He gives you strength. You are not what you will be, but—thanks be to God—you also aren’t what you once were!
Question: What do you most often put in the “Central Hub” of your life that blocks your view of God? Talk about it in the comments below, or on our Facebook page.