My day starts with a cup of Green Tea and an open Bible. I love searching for God’s presence in its pages. Now that my children are grown, this time is rarely interrupted, and I seldom miss my morning devotion. After thirty years of diligent Bible study, I’ve learned enough about God to know he would not be offended if I failed to give him my full attention for a few days. While packing for vacation, I excluded my Bible. A week in a hotel room with a seven-year-old would make quiet meditation impossible. I purposed to devote myself to my husband and granddaughter but quickly learned God’s presence transcends green tea and an open Bible.
The first day at Magic Kingdom, my granddaughter would lapse into a foul mood and announce, “I hate Disney!” A child’s way of saying I’m hungry and tired. When she became difficult, we stopped to eat and let her rest. The Starlight Café in Tomorrow Land provided an adequate place to renew her energy and zeal. As I waited for my husband to return with cheeseburgers and a vegetable wrap for me, I spotted a young girl wearing a camouflaged shirt with “GOD WANTS YOU IN HIS ARMY” emblazoned across the back.
The following day, we were returning from Downtown Disney in the crowded bus provided for Disney patrons. The excited children sitting next me were having difficulty keeping their bottoms in their seats. After a young girl bounced out of her seat for the third time, I heard a stern voice say, “CHURCH BEHAVIOR!”
Monday afternoon, I followed my husband and granddaughter out of Disney’s Animal Kingdom hoping the bus to the Coronado would be waiting to rescue me from one more minute on throbbing feet. No such luck. I leaned against the green rail at the bus stop in a feeble attempt to relieve the pressure on my blisters. When I looked up, I saw a G and an O in the sky. As the skywriter circled his plane around to begin the next letter, my husband and I debated what the letter would be. “T,” I smugly announced. “I bet it’s an advertisement for some product. He’s gonna write “GOT.” The next letter was “D”, followed by a plus sign, and then “U” followed by an equal sign, and finally a happy face. GOD PLUS YOU EQUALS A HAPPY FACE.
I dragged myself into the hotel room and flopped on the bed. “No, I’m not going swimming,” I mumbled to my swimsuit-clad husband. An hour later, the phone rang. “There was an unscheduled cleaning at the pool and your husband has moved to the pool in the Casitas area.” I hung up the phone pondering why a strange woman delivered a message about MY husband.
When he returned I inquired what was wrong with the Lost City of Cibola pool. “Someone pooped in the pool,” he said. “The woman who called you is the children’s pastors at her church. Alicia wanted to play with her daughter, so we moved to another pool.”
The last day of our vacation, we pulled our bags the twenty-minute walk around the Coronado’s lagoon to luggage pick up. The moleskins I applied to my blisters were worthless. I sat on a bench in front of the Café Rix and refused to budge. Rod pulled our bags to the waiting area alone. As I rubbed my sore feet I looked up at the clear blue sky to see a faded “JESUS LOVES U.” The skywriter had just completed “PRAISE” and was working on a “J”, which became “PRAISE JESUS!”
Messages about God in the sky and Christians everywhere we went. I thought I had left God’s presence at home by an empty cup and Bible. Almost daily, I was reminded that his presence is everywhere because his people are everywhere.
Psalm 139:1-7 (TEV)
LORD, you have examined me and you know me.
You know everything I do; from far away you understand all my thoughts.
You see me, whether I am working or resting;
you know all my actions.
Even before I speak,
you already know what I will say.
You are all around me on every side;
you protect me with your power.
Your knowledge of me is too deep; it is beyond my understanding.
Where could I go to escape from you?
Where could I get away from your presence?