Seeing what isn’t there – Disney Zoetrope

On our recent trip to LA, David and I went to the California Adventure with Todd, Julie and Jefferson Mullins to celebrate Jefferson’s amazing 15th birthday. Almost as an afterthought, Jefferson dragged us into the MoMa display and showed us something called a zoetrope.

To understand a zoetrope, picture the animation flip books you used to draw as a kid: draw a stick figure in progressive positions, flip the papers and he comes alive. A zoetrope does the same thing with stationary figures mounted on a disc in a circle. When the disc spins, and  a light flashes at just the right tempo, the characters spring into motion and appear to be partying, Toy Story style.

You can watch the video below because that description is less than perfect!

As I was watching the zoetrope and trying not to get sick to my stomach, it occurred to me that the zoetrope lies to us. By flashing lights and keeping things moving faster than our eyes can comprehend, it makes us believe that something is happening that isn’t. It puts something right in front of our eyes — I saw it — that doesn’t really exist at all.

Lately I’ve realized that the enemy is doing that, as well. He’s keeping us running in frantic circles. He’s filling our lives with meaningless “statues” that seem so real. Then he is flashing the lights and setting our worlds spinning. We feel like we are spinning wildly out of control, and we open our eyes and look. Then we see the lies. We see lies that Satan wants us to believe, a false view of the world, our relationships, our life. We see what isn’t really there. It glitters and dances and parties and we want it. But really we are looking at meaningless statues, spinning.

It’s time to stop the zoetrope. We need to slow down long enough to discern what’s really true! So very many of us are hurting over life — identities, relationships going sour, unfulfilled dreams — when in reality we are missing God’s truth in the situation.

The truth is this, my friends: God is in control.

The Toy Story zoetrope is fascinating. It’s entertaining to watch the penguins dive, the aliens hop, the ropes to spin. But it isn’t reality. So don’t spend all your time staring at the spinning disc and wondering what to do next.

Slow down. Let God’s steady light reveal what He wants us to see. Stop the spinning and take a look at the truth.

By Marla Saunders

I am passionately devoted to living my life in the places God has given me. Over the years those places have changed: from homeschooler to businesswoman, from consumer to storyteller. These days I'm focusing on building a new business and figuring out what it means to do everything with integrity and informed by faith.