by Annette Bridges. ©2008. All rights reserved.

I was excited to learn that the Dallas Symphony was paying tribute to Disney music, and I couldn’t wait to take my mother and daughter with me. Clips of beloved Disney movies were going to be shown on a big screen while the symphony played the coordinating soundtracks. I was certain this would mean I’d get a glimpse of Mickey!I wasn’t disappointed. As the lights dimmed, his smiling face with those adorable ears appeared before me. I didn’t need to hear the words when the music began — I knew them all too well. My eyes swelled with tears as I quietly sang along, “Who’s the leader of the club that’s made for you and me? M-I-C-K-E-Y-M-O-U-S-E!”

Symphony rule number one: No singing along with the music.

Were they kidding me? There was no way I could sit there and not sing my song! After all, I was born a “mouseketeer,” named after Annette Funicelo. It’s difficult to find the words to express the depth of my emotion every time I see the Mouse!

What is it about Mickey?

Walt Disney once said, “Mickey Mouse is, to me, a symbol of independence. He was a means to an end. He popped out of my mind onto a drawing pad…on a train ride from Manhattan to Hollywood at a time when business fortunes of my brother Roy and myself were at lowest ebb and disaster seemed right around the corner.”

Mickey Mouse may have given Walt Disney and his brother the financial independence they sought, but Mickey gives me hope.

I loved learning about Mickey’s history as it seemed the very essence of hope. And his story can fill us all with hope today. It’s a story that illustrates the darkest of day before the dawn. Hope assures us that there is always a way out of darkness — that dawn always comes.

A new day, new possibilities, new discoveries, new opportunities, new ideas — Mickey Mouse certainly provided all of this for Walt and Roy Disney. And when I’m in Mickey’s presence, I’m reminded all of these are available to me, too.

Every Disney story portrays “evil” trying to destroy “good,” but by each story’s end, “evil” fails. Disney stories provide a message of hope to anyone who has doubt about which is the stronger — good or evil.

And the words of Paul empower us when we are faced with challenges that would overwhelm and bring us down. He says, “Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.” (Romans 12:21) This sums up every Disney story climax — the character representing good proves that evil will not have the final say!

We claim our spiritual heritage as children of a loving God by looking for good, expecting it and having confidence in it. There is not a power stronger or greater than God. We have the God-given ability and capability to overcome the myriad forms of evil with good — with the power of God’s promise of good. And we have this divine assurance, “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.” (Jeremiah 29:9)

So even in these dark economic times, our hope can’t be dimmed, diminished or destroyed. It may feel like the dawn is never going to arrive. But rest assured, my friends, it will. God’s promise of good can’t be stopped from coming forth. The Bible instructs, “Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompence of reward.” (Hebrews 10:35) Indeed, God promises us an “expected end” — the recovery we are anticipating, the plan we are looking forward to, the improvement we are counting on.

We can know “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.” (James 1:17) We can trust in this truth and as Jesus promised, “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” (John 8:32) Trusting in God’s truths — His laws, His assurances, His promises — will enable us to discover the solutions and answers we long for.

The concert was about to end, and my daughter whispered that we must go home and watch a Disney movie. “Good idea,” I said.

And once again, I couldn’t help but sing the last verse of my song:

“M-I-C-see ya real soon. K-E-Y-Why? Because we like you. M-O-U-S-E.”

And I’ll see you all next week! Need a good dose of hope? Watch a Disney movie!