"And calling to him a child, he put him in the midst of them and said, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. “Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me, but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened around his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea."
~Matthew 18:2-6 ESV~
Tonight I feel like Wendy did the night before she had to grow up. It's an important moment. Two forces pulling you in two directions. And if you go forward, you can't go back ever, and if you stay a child, it's only delaying the rest of your story.
That story begins with once upon a time, you were born. The end of that story is death and fleeing into eternity. You get to choose what you do and believe between those two lines, the beginning and the end. But it depends a lot what your motives are, whether it is good or bad to stay a child.
To stay a child from the world's point of view means...
Side One of the Coin of Staying a Child (bad stuff first, saving the better for last)
1. To not learn to drive
2. To not get a job
3. To stay dependent on others if you're not going to Neverland and eating imaginary feasts to live off of
4. To not grow mature but instead play games and be entertained every day.
5. To not get married and have children
6. To not take responsibility
7. To therefore be selfish and uncaring of the fact that adults throw money at you every day at the expense of practical things they might have spent.
Those are quite dark and unlikable characteristics of children. And that's what some people think of when they think of not growing up, and they look upon it unfavorably when you mention it.
But there's another side of the coin too, a Christian's point of view of childhood. One of the reasons I fell in love with God was how beautiful he made children, and how he told his disciples that unless they became like little children, they wouldn't enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Because He and I have a common love, children, it was another reason for me to love Him, and not only because I owe my love to Him.
Side Two of the Coin of Staying a Child
1. To trust completely, without asking questions
This is a big one because when we become teens (in the Bible we would then be considered adults) we feel like we have to know the answer to everything. We want to know the meaning behind something sometimes odd that our parents or God ask us to do. But seeing isn't believing. It's cheating. Jesus said blessed are those who haven't seen but still believe. But Thomas didn't believe Jesus was alive and said he would only if he saw. Believing someone we know we can trust (and someone we should trust) is better than going by our sight. Besides, people who are blind have to trust the people who guide them. Their choices are either to try to find their way by themselves, and perhaps fall off a cliff in the process, or trust someone who can see. And that's how little children are (of course not all of them, but I'm talking about the ideal child).
2. To have a big imagination
Having faith is like having imagination in a way because they both happen in the mind. Imagination is good because we're using our minds to create something, ideas, a story, a picture or world, that wasn't there before.
3. To have fresh eyes that look at the world in wonder
It's amazing, to learn what a pen is, what water is, by feeling it and touching it and using it, what words are and what they mean. It's amazing to begin your story from scratch. Another reason why I love children. God has made amazing things. The wind, the trees, the mountains so large. And we're so small.
4. They're okay with the fact that they're small (of course, they DO want to be bigger and look forward to that day), yet they don't worry about the future.
This is because they know that soon they'll be bigger, one day they'll be stronger, and they're content in the moment. They believe in their parents, that their parents will take care of them. They believe their parents love them.
5. They have big dreams.
They don't care or even know that their dreams may be impossible. The whole world to them is impossible, so a dream of theirs, to be a superhero, might not be as impossible as the world thinks. I love this one quote from the movie Amazing Grace and I shall put it here now. Benedict Cumberbach said it. "We're too young to know that certain things are impossible. So we'll do them anyway."
6. They're humble.
7. They have big faith.
That's why I vowed to myself to forever have a child's heart. I hope you will consider it. Choosing a path while we are young makes it easier when we're older to keep to it.
All the people who acted as Peter Pan in the plays and movies did grow up, and some of them were older than the character when they played him. But Peter Pan doesn't grow up. He still has all his first teeth. He's the same size as Wendy in mind and physically, so the book says. He's the spirit of youth. Not teenage youth, but childlike, innocent youth. He's the one who is surprised when something unfair is done, in the book, and every time something unfair is done, he is always shocked like it is the first time it has happened, for Peter Pan forgets. That is why he likes to hear stories about himself. So that he doesn't forget who he is, and, of course, because he's cocky. Proud. Because he doesn't grow up, I do wonder what I might find in his eyes if ever I did look into them. An eternal-ness. A pureness, though Peter Pan isn't exactly completely innocent, even in the book.
His ears would be pointed like a fairy's, for he's lived amongst them for a very long time now. And I would want to give him a hug, and he wouldn't like that. I'm too much like a real mother. I'm already grown up in that way. But every day when we're going another step further, we feel like we're growing. Because the truth is, we're always growing up, always changing and developing our character. And because this post is getting really long, I shall post the other half next time.
What say you on the matter?