Main Street Cinema: Getting Past the Noise

By Randy Crane

The Main Street Cinema is a quaint little attraction on Main Street U.S.A., and a nice place to get out of the sun (or rain) for a while. It’s also a great reminder of the power of focus—and how important that is. What little detail have you possibly missed that teaches this? Continue after the page break for more…

One of the “hidden in plain sight” gems of Main Street U.S.A. is the Main Street Cinema. An Opening Day attraction, the Main Street Cinema shows (in black and white) six animated shorts from the early years of Mickey and the Gang while a recorded musical accompaniment plays.

As of this writing, the six shorts playing are:

● Mickey’s Polo Team
● Traffic Troubles
● The Dognapper
● The Moose Hunt
● Steamboat Willie
● Plane Crazy

This theatre is a great place to get out of the sun (or rain) and enjoy some classic cartoons. It also contains something that most people aren’t aware of, and it’s here we find our lesson.

Of the six cartoon shorts playing, only one plays its own soundtrack. All the rest have musical accompaniment playing throughout the room as their only soundtrack. The one that plays its own? Steamboat Willie.

What makes this factoid interesting and significant is that you must pay close attention to even notice it. The music playing in the room is good, and it fits the Cinema, but it’s relatively loud. The soundtrack for Steamboat Willie, by comparison, is quiet. You have to be standing right in front of it and paying attention to hear it clearly. If you don’t listen for it, you’ll probably miss it. Only Steamboat Willie has a unique soundtrack, but you must listen carefully and filter out the other (good) music and sound to hear it.

There’s a lot of “noise” in the world today, and not all of it is bad. Worthwhile movies and TV shows vie for our attention, as do countless good books. Thanks to Live365, Pandora, Spotify, and other services there is almost no limit to the music you can listen to. Thousands of podcasts on almost every conceivable subject are available on iTunes, Stitcher Radio, and other services.

Technology has brought us a wealth of content that is encouraging, fun, entertaining, educational, and even valuable. But it’s easy to get caught up in the “noise,” and when we do, we miss the sound that’s constantly playing in the background.

“Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, ‘This is the way; walk in it.’” (Isaiah 30:21)

People make time for a favorite TV show (or shows, the average person over age fifteen spends 2.7 hours per day watching TV—that’s nineteen hours per week, or 983 hours per year, almost forty-one days!). We also listen to podcasts, go to movies and parties, read reports or the newspaper, etc. But how much time do we spend listening to God? Reading His Word? Praying? Spending time in natural surroundings and listening to Him speak through His creation?

This is not about “guilting” us into action (or inaction, as the case may be), it’s about helping us to become intentionally aware of our priorities and encouraging us to listen better. God’s voice is always there, but we can miss it through the noise of life, or because what we’re listening for (i.e. the way out of a troubled relationship) is not what He’s saying (“Let Me work in your heart and change you”).

Listen carefully. Filter out the noise—even if it’s “good” noise. His voice is there.

Takeaway: What is one way you can filter out some of the noise in your life and listen for Him?

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 Randy Crane is a highly-regarded speaker and author, presenting engaging and thought-provoking messages on a variety of topics. He has a natural rapport and connection with audiences that makes them relate well to him, engage in his presentations, and come away with a fresh understanding of the subject at hand. Randy is also the host of the “Stories of the Magic” unofficial Disney podcast, where he interviews people from throughout the Disney company, from front-line Cast Members to Legends. Randy grew up in the church, but—like many others—wandered away from the faith for a time in high school. Now, he is an ordained minister, with both a Bachelor’s degree in Church Ministry (emphasis in Preaching) and a Master’s degree in Congregational Leadership from Hope International University in Fullerton, CA. He has been preaching and teaching since 1998, and has been a drummer/percussionist on church worship teams since 1992. He married his wonderful wife Faye in November of 2000 and they are expecting their first child in April of 2015. Randy is the author of two books, Once Upon YOUR Time and Faith and the Magic Kingdom.

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