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Love the Past and Hate the Future

"Traditionalists are pessimists about the future and optimists about the past." --Lewis Mumford

Resistance to Change--Even at Disney Land

 Why do some people always resist change, even when that change brings a great improvement? It's because they are worshipping a memory in their past, which is more important than helping people now and in the future by bringing the needed changes.  Jesus rebuked the Pharisees for honoring their traditions while violating God's Word (Matt. 15:3-9). Today we have modern-day Pharisees who continue to fight against everything God wants to do!

Officials at Disney Land noticed that people were losing interest in their 40-year-old ride and attendance was falling. (See story below)  They decided to update the ride and bring exciting new ideas to attract new generations. That decision was a no-brainer, but some people protested the change simply because it would be different from their childhood memory.

We fight the same battle in the church.  Tradtion is the most important thing in some people's minds, so they'll fight against any idea of reaching new generations with the gospel. We don't change the message of God's Word salvation, but we need to find innovative methods to present it to new generations.

Disney's Iconic 'Small World' Ride Makeover Finds Nemo

2/5/09  AP ANAHEIM, Calif.  More than 40 years after the "It's A Small World" ride opened to promote world peace and showcase the cultures of the world, Disney is populating one of its most beloved attractions with its own trademark vision of the planet: Aladdin, Nemo, Ariel and more than two dozen cartoon characters plucked from its movies.  And those aren't the only changes. Disney has woven a few bars from some of its hit soundtracks into the classic "Small World" melody and added a new America section that includes a nod to Los Angeles' famous Hollywood Bowl, a quaint farm scene and "Toy Story" characters.

Disney says it supplemented the human dolls with make-believe figures to keep the aging ride appealing to younger generations and give it a new twist. Yet some angry fans see an unabashed marketing ploy that ruins one of the few rides that remained unchanged since the days of Walt Disney. Others are miffed that Disney would inject fantasy worlds into a ride dedicated to cross-cultural understanding.

Disney says it hopes adding what it calls "new magic" to the 43-year-old attraction will attract even more riders and create new traditions for young families who don't identify with "Small World" as strongly as previous generations.

Reshuffling the attraction does appeal to many fans, some of whom grew up riding it each year with their parents. Dawn Barbour from Texas is thrilled to hear about the changes. "Oh, anything Disney does is always exciting," Barbour said. "It's always something fun, and they never do anything halfway."

Whenever Disney changes a popular ride, they say, the company receives criticism from die-hard fans who are resistant to anything that will alter the Disneyland of their childhood memories. So-called "Dis-nerds" also got upset when Disney recently refurbished the classic Pirates of the Caribbean attraction, but were mollified once they saw the updated ride.

"It's what Walt always wanted," said Kim Irvine, director of concept design for Walt Disney Imagineering. "He always said the park would always be changing as long as there was imagination in the world."Yet after initial reports of the proposed changes leaked last year, the son of the ride's original designer, children's illustrator Mary Blair, wrote an open letter to Disney executives blasting the changes as "a gross desecration of the ride's original theme."

Useless Keys on Your Key Chain

One day I decided to look at each key on my key chain and see which ones I werenít using.  I found 2 keys on my chain that I used for the lock bars on my steering wheel on my cars.  I hadnít used those keys in 10 years!  I didnít even know where those lock bars were.  At one time those keys served a purpose.  But now I was just carrying them on my key chain simply because I had always carried them. All they did was make my pocket heavier.


Church traditions are like those keys. They are those things we do that donít really serve a purpose anymore, but we keep carrying them on anyway. Itís time to pull the useless keys off the key chain and only carry those that serve a purpose.

--Kent Crockett