Winnie the Pooh: Wait, That Was It?
When it comes to Disneyland, anyone who’s read this blog at all (or talked to me for 30 seconds) knows I’m generally very positive about Disneyland. I try to look at everything done there in the best possible light, give people the benefit of the doubt, and look for ways I can enjoy any attraction. And I usually succeed.
I have to admit, though, when it comes to The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, I just can’t do that. Granted, I’m not the target audience, but neither am I the target for most of the Fantasyland rides. That doesn’t stop me from loving them. Every time I see this attraction, I think of what came before (Country Bear Jamboree–which I loved!) and its analogue in Walt Disney World. In both cases, the comparison is not favorable.
Compared to its Florida counterpart, this one is half the length, eliminates many of the best scenes and effects, and the story is so disjointed the whole thing feels to me like riding through a bizarre hallucination. On the rare occasions I do ride it, I won’t wait more than 5 minutes for it, which is good, since it rarely has a wait longer than that. Apparently I’m not alone in my opinion.
I wanted to like it, and every now and then I ride again, thinking maybe I can find some redeeming quality to it. It has potential. It could be good. Knowing what once stood in its place and what it was “copied” from, I know the promise it once held of delighting families–including children of all ages.
But every time I finish, I think the same thing…”Wait, that was it?” I’ve been let down. Disappointment has reared it’s sad head.
People do the same thing to us. A good friend of mine used to say, “If I haven’t let you down yet, just wait. I will.” He wasn’t proud of the fact, but was stating an obvious truth. We all let each other down from time to time.
Sometimes it’s more convenient to not follow through on a commitment. Sometimes circumstances make it impossible. Sometimes we forget, or we don’t realize the importance of it to the other person. Whatever the reason, it happens. Friends say, “I’ll do anything I can to help you”…and that turns out to be little to nothing. They say, “Good job, I’m proud of you,” but then don’t put their money where their mouth is (figuratively or literally) when the time comes. Those you count on to have your back aren’t there when the knife comes flying. You think of how many friends you have (real world and/or Facebook) and think, “Look how many people I have to support me,” but when you need that support, they ignore you, or do as little as possible.
It’s time like these you realize the value of the friends who actually do support you, keep their commitments, get behind you in ways that may even bewilder you (“why do they care so much about this?”). And you realize how few of them there really are. You look around and say, “Wait, that was it? I expected so much more.”
“At my first defense, no one came to my support, but everyone deserted me. May it not be held against them. But the Lord stood at my side and gave me strength, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed and all the Gentiles might hear it. And I was delivered from the lion’s mouth.”
Jesus knew it, too. At His time of greatest need, His closest friends first slept, then fled. How’s that for support?
Being let down by people is inevitable. Rarely is it malicious, but we’re all human. [Tweet that.] That’s why Paul said, “May it not be held against them.” So what do we do when these times of disappointment come?
1. Remember God’s faithfulness. Others may let you down, but He never will. So talk to Him. Tell Him what happened. Tell Him that you’re hurt. Ask Him to comfort you. Don’t deny the pain or the feelings of disappointment. And thank Him that you can always count on Him to be there.
2. Evaluate the relationship. Think about your relationship with the person who let you down. Is this an ongoing behavior pattern or was it a one-time event? If it was one-time, give them the benefit of the doubt. Perhaps they don’t realize it (in which case, the relationship may benefit from a healthy conversation). Maybe there is some other circumstance. But if this is ongoing, reconsider how much you trust this person. Ask yourself why you’re continuing to trust them. As difficult as it may be, it might be time to put some distance in the relationship, or possibly even end it entirely. In any case, adjust your expectations and behavior accordingly.
This doesn’t mean to hold a grudge, though. Part of this process must also involve forgiveness. If it was an unintentional slight or dropping of the ball, they may ask for forgiveness. If they do, grant it. They may never ask for forgiveness. Grant it anyway. Choose to let go of any bitterness, harsh criticism, grudges, or anything else that chains up your heart and soul. [Tweet that.] If you think of them and there’s anything other than grace, patience, love, and looking for the best in them, you’ve still got work to do. Keep at it.
3. Look for lessons. Disappointment nearly always creates an opportunity to learn something [Tweet that] –about yourself, about how you relate to people (are you too trusting?), about communication, or something else entirely. What do you need to learn?
4. Love them. This will be harder in some cases than others. (And I’m not talking about cases where the “disappointment” is a euphemism for abuse. That’s a whole different subject on a much larger scale.) Don’t harbor a “They let me down, so they’re useless to me,” attitude. If you would ordinarily doing something nice for them, whether it’s taking them to run errands, promoting something important to them on social media, or even doing an unexpected act of kindness, do it anyway. Go out of your way to do it if you have to. Not to feel superior to them or try to make them feel guilty. Do it because you’re weak, too.
You’ve let people down, and so have I. Give them the kind of grace you would want for yourself–the kind that you may not even feel you deserve but in the best of all possible worlds you have a glimmer of hope of experiencing. Give them that kind. Pour it on. Shower them with it. Doing so will take your mind and heart off you and put it right where it belongs: on God and on others.
Why on God? Because you don’t have it in you to show this kind of love. Not for very long anyway. Neither do I. We can only do this by being a conduit of His love and grace. And it’s here that disappointment and being let down actually can become a blessing.
When you are put in a position to give knowing you won’t get anything in return, you’re in a position to grow more into the person God wants you to be–that He made you to be.
Question: Has someone disappointed you or let you down recently? What is one way you can show God’s love and grace to that person today? Talk about it in the comments below.