Disneyland is known as the happiest place on earth. And I’m starting to understand why. Happiness is a fleeting, temporary emotion. Imagine the rapid high experienced during a rollercoaster ride. The thrilling turns, an exhilaration felt as a fear is conquered. Yet, the ride ends almost as soon as it begins. There’s an immediate need to either go on the ride again or try out a new one. The happiness comes and the happiness goes.
As you enter the Disneyland park, there is a caution to leave today behind. Unlike the nostalgia of the past and fantasy of the future, today comes with responsibility, realistic expectations and an inability to hide under the covers. Today arrives whether we like it or not.
But the embracing of today allows for something better than fleeting happiness. Embracing today allows for the building of reservoirs of joy, compassion, and strength. Today is living through disappointments, loving through frustration, growing through obstacles, opening the eyes to wonder, awe, beauty and blessing. It is the holding of today that enables us to be present and engaged in God’s glorious world.
Modeh Ani Lifanecha, Dear God, let us not leave today behind as we look towards the past or the future. Be present, be mindful, be grateful for what these hours offer. It will be how we live today that shapes how we experience tomorrow.
Disneyland may be the happiest place on earth. But today is much more: a gift from God filled with endless possibilities.
In partnership with The Jewish Journal, you can also find Rabbi Guzik’s blog post HERE.