I Want It NOW!!
Yesterday, Thomas, my dad, and I went to Disney’s Blizzard Beach – a super-fun water park in Orlando. We had a great time riding the rides, bouncing around in the wave pool, and drifting along on the lazy river.
Not everyone, however, was having fun. As I sat and waited for Thomas to ride the zip line, I watched a drama unfold by the lifeguard stand. A woman had, apparently, lost her sunglasses in the pool below said zip line. It happens. A few minutes before this, I heard a man ask a lifeguard about a pair he had lost in the same place. The lifeguard told him there are a few times a day when someone comes to pick up lost items in that pool, and when that occurs, the items will be available. The gentleman thanked the lifeguard and returned to the fun of the park.
Not this woman, though. Nope. She didn’t like the lifeguard’s answer. She wanted her sunglasses NOW. She hovered over the ladder as kids got out of the (very deep) pool and tried to get some of the braver ones to dive for her glasses. When the lifeguard had to jump in to help a preschooler, the woman met him as he handed the child back to her mom and demanded he dive down and get the glasses himself. The poor guy tried, but he couldn’t get them. He was the ONLY lifeguard at that particular pool, and there were kids jumping in from a zip line AND sliding in on a mini-slide. His job was to watch them, as he very kindly explained. Over and over. He needed to be at his post. Someone would be by to get her glasses later.
Still she stayed. She got her family in on it. Tried to get her son to dive in for them (totally against the rules…the pool was a landing spot only, and needed to be cleared quickly after every landing so the next rider could go). She pulled other lifeguards in – lifeguards that were going on their breaks – and got the same answer. They all knew the policy: no swimming or diving into that pool while kids were on the zip line. Those kids wait a long time for their turn!
I was there for a while. And so was she. She was there after we left. Still complaining, still demanding. Disney parks aren’t called the “Happiest Place on Earth” for nothing — this park was SO fun!! — yet this woman chose misery instead. She chose to stand around griping instead of riding rides, bouncing around in the wave pool, or drifting along the lazy river. We left with smiles on our faces and fantastic memories. She left with a nasty attitude and very wet sunglasses.
But as I was watching her, feeling oh-so-good about myself and my fabulous attitude, I realized that, though I wasn’t behaving like the spoiled brat from “Willy Wonka” right then, I have had plenty of those “I want it NOW” moments: When I’m in a hurry to get somewhere and my family isn’t moving as fast as I want them to; when I’m in line at the grocery store and the woman in front of me has problems getting her credit card to work; when I see a cute outfit I’d love to have, but know it’s just not in the budget right now…I can get SO Veruca so fast. I get frustrated, demanding…This is important to ME so it should be just as important to everyone else!!
The Bible tells us just the opposite. Paul exhorts us to “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit.Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.” (Phil. 2:3-4). Those times when we want something now, and it isn’t happening…? Those are opportunities to reflect Christ. Putting the needs of others above ourselves is HARD. And it’s definitely not what the world is saying! But it is true. And there is far greater peace in living according to God’s standard than the world’s.
So relax. Let go of the selfishness, and embrace a life where you’re NOT the center of the universe. Walk away from the sunglasses…