A sequence of events:
1) You hear you are going to go to Great America (for free), and you are going to see cool bands to boot
2) You build a picture in your mind of what your day will be like; paradise! you will go on every cool ride and it will be amazing
3) You get to the theme park and, after building a picture of "riding every cool ride", you get in 3 roller coasters in 3 hours.
That is my speculation on theme parks. Your picture perfect day reveals itself in each three minute segment that you are on a ride, but for the most part is only fantasy. (For instance those hour waits in lines... =P)
I had a wonderful time at Great America even though my speculation is perfectly true: it NEVER turns out like you would imagine. Switchfoot was still amazing, the roller coasters were still crazy fun... but here is the other half of my speculation.
People are SO lost!!!!
Luckily the day we went there was a large contingent that was Christian, but even then you see the whole spectrum of humanity at theme parks. It makes me so sorry for the people who dont know God. They try to fill up their lives with "fun stuff". They say "Lets do something fun... how about Great America!" and then comes the first part of my speculation again. The "lost people" imagine up their picture perfect day for themselves and everything works out perfectly (in their mind). The day comes and they put on their happy face, they dress up with bones in their hair (no really! there was a girl with bones in her hair)... but they only catch a glimpse of the picture perfect day. It doesn't end up like they thought it would, and it certainly doesn't fill up the void as they had hoped. It is empty, shallow and frivolous.
So I enjoyed myself, (even through all the things I wouldn't have planned for my day. ie. losing my ticket, waiting in long lines, misplacing our car) but it wasn't because the theme park was everything I ever wished. But because God was present. He is the only thing good enough, real enough, big enough and deep enough to fill the void.
9 hours ago