Celebration & (No) Fear


My beautiful wife, Emily, came home today with an interesting story that I think is worth sharing….

Next week, five Ace Hoopers, including Emily and me, are flying down to Juarez, Mexico, to visit our kids at the Emmanuel Children’s Home. It is going to be such an amazing, AMAZING, time!!

Consequently, to make this happen, Emily had to take off a few days of work. When word spread around her workplace that we were heading to the “World’s Most Dangerous City,”  panic mode set in.  Coworkers expressed some very strong concern—or as I shared in an earlier post, thoughts that we might in fact be crazy! That is, until a pleasant interruption….breath of fresh air…..the voice of reason.

We’ll call him Pistol Pete….

Pistol Pete emailed Emily with some breaking news: Authorities in Celebration, Florida, have made an arrest in the city’s first ever homicide. (Check out the story for yourself: http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-504083_162-20024759-504083.html )

Celebration, Florida, is a town of approximately 11,000 people. Masterminded and developed by the Disney Development Company (DDC) in 1996, the town concept was heavily researched and constructed to be the world’s perfect place to live, as DDC executives collaborated with the best-of-the-best in the fields of health, education and technology. (Pleasantville, anybody?) Beautiful parks and palm trees…..gorgeous downtown with artsy-fartsy shops….7.94 miles from Walt Disney World…..what more could one want? And for years—fourteen to be exact—Celebration seemed “perfect”….

“Perfect” until authorities reported the city’s first homicide in city history after a 58-year-old retired teacher was found slain in his home over the Thanksgiving weekend. As if it couldn’t get any worse—as if the days couldn’t get any more bleak for the people of Celebration—history repeated itself a week later when another man, at the brink of losing his home (and failed business) barricaded himself in his home, shot at police, then took his own life…..

Not to poke fun at the recent happenings in Celebration, as the families of those who lost loved ones are undoubtedly going through a lot right now, I nonetheless think there is a bigger truth to be seen. Pistol Pete’s message was a simple one, but one worth taking note:

In life, there are no guarantees. So go live…

Write that down….