To Infinity and Beyond

March 4, 2013

Lib in retreat #2"You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth." Acts 1:8 The boy standing behind me in the long winding line must have been about eight years old. He was a little chubby, dark hair and deep brown eyes, and his grin stretched from ear to ear. We were waiting to ride the Buzz Lightyear ride at DisneyWorld. Buzz Lightyear is a Disney hero in the movie Toy Story. He is green, from another planet and the ride involves laser shooting of  "Z." Points are awarded for the most hits. Usually when I ride the Buzz Lightyear ride, I come in last place for points in the entire family. (My status in last place perpetuity is another tale for another time.) Before we got to the cars for our space travel, the boy was by my side chipper and chatty. In halting English he asked, "Is this your first time riding?" "No," I said, "We've been here before." "Me too," he replied. I thought that was the end of our conversation until the car rolled up for me to get aboard, and he scooted into the seat beside me. The safety bar closed on us and I asked, "Is your Mom the woman in the car behind us?" "No. She is working today. I am here with my older brother who is somewhere in the park. Do you know how to play the game? You just mash the little red button and aim for the Z." "Yes, I know how the game works. I'm not very good at it. Why don't you control the joy stick and I'll just stick with the red button." At that we were off to the outer space races. The boy said he was from Venezuela. He never told me his name, but he was a bundle of delight and joy as we took off into the darkness. He spun the car 'round and 'round until I was dizzy and laughing my head off! His joy rubbed off on me all the way to my bones. We two strangers, an old Grandma and a young Spanish boy, together in taking on the world beyond. It was serendipitous joy in this Magic Kingdom we were together in. He acted as if all the world depended on our defeat of the enemy. His score was not too shabby, but my score was higher than it has ever been before. 999,999 was my final score. He left the ride shouting to the world. "She's a Starship Commando. She got a million points!" Our picture together what was on the starship wall was one of pure joy, and a unity that is born only of the Spirit of God. This young boy from another country, another culture, another language, another age and I found a common bond in the joy and delight of the moments we shared together. He embodied the joy of the Spirit in his little life that was contagious. At the end of the ride, we high-fived and before I could thank him and even ask his name, he was running through the crowd to his next adventure. That was the last I saw of him. Thank you, God, for total strangers whose joy for life reminds me to find delight in every moment that is mine to live. Help me to receive the gift of oneness and presence even in the small places of life. Jesus taught that a little child shall lead us, for "to such as these belongs the Kingdom of Heaven." O God, write joy on every heart that we may delight in every moment and every particle of your creation. Thank you for the reminder lesson of your truth. Let your joy in each one who calls themselves "Christian" give witness to the goodness you are "to infinity and beyond." Amen.