I am a closet dreamer. There…I said it. When I see things I am always asking myself, how could this be better. It is a curse as much as it is a blessing. I don’t always share those ideas because they are usually about things that I have no influence on or feel like my voice would get lost in the process…and I am not about wasting my time. This is also brought on by being an introvert. With that said, I am almost always amazed when I see something improved that I did not even have a clue could be improved. (I also feel slightly dumb when this happens as well.)
Case in point! A few weeks ago we found ourselves in Orlando, FL on a great week-long family vacation. It was amazingly relaxing…well as relaxing as it can be to be in Orlando for a week with a 3-year-old and a 4-year-old. We decided to do our normal Orlando activities such as; anything that is free or close to it. Most of the week we sat by the pool at our resort, which is actually great because they have a zero entry pool so I don’t have to worry as much about the kids. Not like having a life guard or nanny with you but almost the next best thing. (ok maybe not but it is helpful)
On the first day, I was coerced into spending money. It was the year of Disney’s Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique. If you do not know what that is then you are lucky, but you can guess from the first word being Disney that it is going to cost some money. This was the moment that my 4-year-old princess was going to be styled like a princess. She was so excited.
I will talk more about that on another post but for now back to the story.
Blog Post Follow up on Aubrie being a princess.
As we arrived to Downtown Disney it was a mess. Not Disney’s usual modus operandi but understandable since they are doing some major renovations. The biggest addition is the parking garages. Honestly driving up to the garage I had no major expectations. Parking garages are parking garages. Of course the outside had the Disney flair and was designed nice but what does that really do for me.
When we actually got into the garage it was a different story. (Excuse my nerdiness if you are not impressed with my observations or have seen this before, but it was cool to me.) As we were driving up onto the second floor we saw a sign that apparently told you how many spots were left on that level. As I approached the sign it subtracted one and since I chose to go to the third level it added one back after I went by.
Now if that was all that was different it would be cool but still doesn’t do a lot for me. As we pulled onto the third level, our parking level of choice, there were 638 spaces left. I assumed I would be ok finding a spot on this level. Now remember, my wife and I are with our 3 and 4-year-old kids so parking close to the elevators is always the best decision. (As a parent I am now super paranoid about everything that could happen to my kids. So in order to save years on the back end of my life I am trying to limit my stress in the now.)
As I started to drive onto the third level I saw little signs like the ones on the ramp, only this time they told you how many spots were open in each row. Genius!!! Now I don’t have to drive up and down the rows looking to see which row has an open spot. (With 638 spots open it wasn’t going to be an issue anyway but stick with me.)
THE ICING ON THE CAKE! Not only were there signs on the ramps, not only signs at the head of each row, but there were individual lights over each spot…meaning I don’t even have to drive down the row to see if the open spot is close to the elevators or at the other end. If it was open it had a light above it.
I understand this might not excite some people, but as a person with the worst luck and little patience in a parking situation, this was huge. It truly elevated my experience. It allowed me to maximize my time with my family while on an adventure, instead of slowly pacing through a parking lot hoping I come down a row at the same time someone is leaving. It also helped me to avoid that awkward stranger interaction. You know the one when you find someone by their car, you roll down your window and nicely ask them if they are leaving, only to have them look at you like you just interrupted the most important conversation they have ever had. And by the way, they are never leaving.
So sometime later that day when I was monetarily broke, but was being escorted around by the prettiest princess you have ever seen, I started thinking about a few things. When I see a parking garage, I expect to see the same thing I have always seen. Nothing bad but just the standard. But what I got was anything but standard. Here are two of the many questions that came to my mind.
- What areas of my life and ministry have I settled for the standard when instead I could add value to someone’s life?
- What are the pre-conceived ideas that new people have about your church as they come in the door for the first time?