Monday, June 16, 2014

A magic carpet ride

Remember Aladdin? Who could forget him! He was the animated dream boat of the early 90's. He was tall (I assume), dark and oh so handsome. He jumped around with ease, barely wore a shirt and even had a pet monkey. Come on ladies let's be honest, who wouldn't be head over heels? Even at the tender age of two I think I knew that Aladdin was a catch. The movie hit the big screens in 1992, too soon for me to be aware of its appeal to the feminine gender, but as I aged I grew to understand that the true appeal of Aladdin wasn't in the palace that Jasmine lived in or the fancy jewelry that she wore. The real appeal of Aladdin was in the title character and his desire to show one special girl the whole world.
Since 1992 animation has far surpassed the grainy images of Aladdin. Technology has progressed, colors have been enhanced and the art of the animation process has catapulted into the 21st century. Still, the appeal of Aladdin hasn't faded. Girls still buy the Jasmine doll and I've even seen a few boys dressed up as Aladdin on Halloween. Disney on Ice still has a magic carpet, Princess Jasmine and dreamy Aladdin. Needless to say, this cartoon classic has staying power.
The question is, why? What about the Aladdin movie makes it so memorable? Why do I still find myself humming the songs of a movie produced and released over twenty years ago? What has kept Aladdin alive long after it has left the box office?
The answer is simple: the love of a boy for a girl. It is so basic, so fundamental and yet Disney used the most natural union and used it to score big. They took a character who was from the wrong side of town with no credentials and a grim job future. Not necessarily the man Dad would approve of. And as cute as that monkey might have been, I don't even think Mom would give her blessing to a union with such a character. Yet this boy loves a girl who is from the right side of town with a royal pedigree. She could have had any man she wanted - a prince, the big shot in town. Yet some scruffy guy swinging around with a monkey caught her eye and wanted to show her the world. And the rest is history. The two rode off into the distance, carried away to a whole new world on the winds of romantic notions and a magic carpet.

For the lonely the simple tune of "A Whole New World" can bring on a whole new wave of despair. The melody produces a desire for a love interest to share in the thrill of a carpet ride. The words ring out with promises of wonders and splendor and the lonely heart sings along, pinning for someone to share in the duet. But when no one appears to join in the song, a sadness sets in - reality hits. The lonely still stands alone, still sings alone, with no magic carpet in sight. 

Dear Reader, today you might find yourself in that place of lonely longing. You don't have a companion to share on a romantic ride of love or a voice to harmonize with on the chorus of your favorite song. But Beloved, your ride is not joyless and it is not without magic. 
God is offering you a ride on His very own carpet. He won't come to you like a Genie in a bottle and He probably won't have a pet monkey in toe, but God will orchestrate a ride for you that reveals wonders and splendor far greater than any other mystery man could ever deliver. God has promised plans for you and a path specifically plotted with your name on it and He never breaks His promises.  He has a special journey and it is especially for you. God longs to take you on the thrill ride of your life, beyond any magic carpet in movie animation or on the silver screen. What could be more romantic than that? 
Aladdin has become a classic, but God is truly the author of the greatest love story ever written. And He wrote it with you and I in mind. In His beautiful love story He sent His son to save us and show us the way to eternal life. In the story He has authored there in a special place for each of us and a carpet with each of our names written upon it. 

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