So this was the year we were taking the family on a cross-country family road trip. I had 2 weeks of vacation at Christmas and we determined to celebrate Christmas at both parents houses this year. The track from Oklahoma to Alabama to Virginia back to Oklahoma spanned 12 states and the District of Columbia and almost 3000 miles. I haven’t driven that much in a long time. It was a great trip and it will be a memory for our family for our lifetime.
On the way back to Oklahoma, we decided to take a more northerly route and passed through an area of the country our kids had never been through. As we traveled through Indiana, I noticed a sign on the interstate for the town of Santa Claus, Indiana. I had watched a show on the Discovery Channel about the birth of the modern theme parks in America and I knew that Holiday World, one of the original theme parks, was located in Santa Claus, Indiana.
I couldn’t help myself, so I turned off the interestate…
and drove about 10 miles out of the way to get a glimpse of Holiday World. In the middle of Indiana countryside, there it was in all it’s glory. I circled the park and made my way to the parking lot. I got out of the car and went to the entrance and started pounding on the doors…. they were closed for the season… sorry I didn’t really do that…. but It reminded me of Clark Griswold in National Lampoons Family Vacation when he approached Wally World…. but I digress….
As I looked at the empty parking lot and the theme park, I was reminded of my early days when every theme park I went to seemed larger than life and limitless. As we drove away, I couldn’t help but think about just how differently the park appeared to me at my present age. I remember they used to be larger, more magical, special. I’m sure the parks have changed, but the real change of perspective was how I viewed it. I had changed.
This holiday season as you reflected on the real story of Christmas, I hope you didn’t lose your childlike wonder as you considered the magnitude of Christ’s birth in Bethlehem. His entry into the world changed everything for you and me. Oh that we would keep a childlike wonder in our faith. The God of this universe sent His one and only son to the earth… Emmanuel, God with us…. He’s with you today… whether you are in Santa Claus, Indiana or Toad Suck, Arkansas…. by the way we passed through that town too….