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  • Shawn Thornton

Your Happy Place

Friday - July 17th Scripture to Read for Today's Devotional: Philippians 4:11-13

Today's Selection from our Sermon on the Mount Reading Plan: Matthew 7:13-20

I have learned to be content, whatever the circumstances.

Philippians 4:11


Sixty-five years ago today, Disneyland opened. With this milestone comes the celebration of the first theme park in the world, opening its doors to the public. Today was supposed to be the day the park opened up for the first time since shutting its doors due to COVID-19 in late March. It was no coincidence that this was the day to reopen. But, back in late June, it was announced it would not open by today's milestone in Disney theme park history.

"The Happiest Place on Earth" stands today as one of the quietest places on earth. Recent reports suggest the park's more than 200 feral cats roam with uninhibited and complete freedom. No family memories will be made at Disneyland today. Someone recently questioned in a social media post on a Disney fan site, "Where will we go on July 17 to find happiness?"

Our family has enjoyed our share of good memories at Disney World in Orlando and at Disneyland in Anaheim. Since Walt Disney opened Disneyland on July 17, 1955, the Disney theme parks have done an incredible job of creating a setting and atmosphere where happy memories can be made. While Disney died eleven years after Disneyland opened and over seven years before Disney World opened, his widow, Lillian, said her husband would have been thrilled with the happiness both parks brought to so many. Of course, today, on this 65th anniversary of Disneyland, the "Happiest Place on Earth" will not be facilitating happy memories for anyone.

We often link our happiness to a place, certain people, or specific circumstances. That is why a theme park can create an image of the "Happiest Place on Earth." And it is not just Disney that promises happiness in its products and services. McDonald's delivers its "happy meals." A few years back, a Fast Company article listed several major companies that promised happiness in one or more major marketing campaigns. The well-known companies they listed were Apple, Starbucks, Target, JetBlue, BMW, eBay, and Trader Joe's.

True happiness and satisfaction never come through a fantastic product or an incredible service. No matter where you are. No matter what you have or do not have. No matter who is or isn't with you. You can have deep happiness, joy, and satisfaction. The Apostle Paul, from a lonely Roman jail, told the Philippian church that he was satisfied and was content because of Christ. In Philippians 4:11, he said, "I have learned to be content, whatever the circumstances."

Maybe you have enjoyed a good day at Disneyland. The best day at Disney can't replace the contentedness offered to us in the Lord. No product can. Nothing can.

Paul explained that the key for us is keeping our hearts and eyes centered on Jesus - not the stuff of this world. Paul's contentedness, in any circumstance, even while in jail, was found in his relationship with the Lord. Where do you look for your happiness? Where do you find your satisfaction? As a follower of Christ, look to your Savior for your happiness and satisfaction today. Let your happy place be found in Jesus!

The "Happiest Place on Earth" might be closed today, but you can still be happy!

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