The Golden Spike: Confusing the Center
One of the most common Disneyland urban legends is that of the “golden spike”. Located just inside the Sleeping Beauty Castle courtyard, the legend says that this spike marked the exact geographic center of Disneyland on Opening Day. Isn’t that interesting?
It’s also not true. This spot was never the center of Disneyland—though it may be somewhat closer than it used to be since the opening of Mickey’s Toontown. In fact, the center of Disneyland was the Central Hub, very close to where the Partners Statue stands today. I’ve measured this myself using maps and photos from 1955, so I know it’s accurate.
So what is this spike? What is it’s purpose? Simple. It’s a survey marker. This marker was placed by the surveyors during construction to make sure the train station, the castle drawbridge, and Main Street U.S.A. all lined up properly with each other. This humble tool has had its purpose and value blown all out of proportion and made the center of something it was never meant to be at the heart of.
The church at Corinth did the same thing with spiritual gifts, particularly the gift of tongues. In 1 Corinthians 12-14, Paul has to remind this church that every part of the body of Christ, the Church, is valuable, and each has a role to play. The roles are not the focus and purpose, serving each other through whatever gifts they had been given is. They made something that was simply a tool into the center.
We do it as well. Spiritual disciplines like prayer, Bible reading, meditation, fasting, worship, etc. are all tools. They’re all incredibly valuable—imagine what Disneyland might have looked like without that spike as a reference point!—but they are all tools. They aren’t the focus and purpose. Our relationship with God, and how it expresses itself in our words, actions, and identity, is. The tools have their purpose, but be sure not to confuse any one of them for the heart.
Question: What tool do you see most often get put in the center (often unintentionally), displacing Jesus? Talk about it in the comments below, or on our Facebook page.