I suddenly feel great nostalgia today. Entering Tulsa after a bliss-filled spring break the song "I Won't Grow Up" from Peter Pan came on. I smiled and softly sang along thinking "I can relate to Peter." When I hit my late teens I realized that I was no longer a child. I couldn't play as I use to and have my parents say "You can do _____ when you are an adult," because soon enough I was able to do everything my parents said I could not do as a child. Neverland has been on my mind as of late, the idea of never growing up. Everything is ahead of you, falling in love, getting a job, going to college, it is a far distant dream when you are a child. My sister put a picture up of the three of us siblings as children, and while I laughed and made a comment about it, I noticed the other comments were "Oh, where did these cuties go?" And I often think that myself. Where did that time go? How fast time is! I reflect more on that as I draw near to graduating college. I dread it and cannot wait for it to come! I want to graduate, I am tired of college and all the schoolwork required of me that will soon be forgotten and unknown by others. But I dread it because all of those dreams I had as a child are becoming a reality, I have lost my chance at Neverland so to speak. I see the future as a bit gloomy (future in general, not the the internship with Cru) because I cannot imagine the joys that will come because I only know the joys of a child.
I think there is something special about being a child, even Jesus saw that when his disciples scorned the children for wanting to come to him. Jesus was mad at the disciples because they still didn't get it, Jesus was put on this Earth to reach out to the forgotten, the rejected. I think I am having a disciple moment. I am just not getting it, I see the future from the viewpoint of a sinner, a human made of flesh living for the flesh. Jesus is saying "Elise, You don't really know me, or you have forgotten" because the joy He can bring into my life in the future will likely be 10,000 times better than I can know or imagine. Neverland is a place for children, and we all know children tend to sin more than repent for those sins (I know from experience as a child never really understanding my actions) but we still love them. But we all do grow up, we die, it is a fact of life. Peter Pan never gets to experience love, or to hold his child in his arms for the first time, or to grow wise and learn what the deepest love did for humanity through Jesus Christ.
Sure, the future is unknown and not like childhood, but that doesn't mean it is dull and boring, it can be a new adventure, a Foreverland, living for the Kingdom, in the Kingdom with the King at my side to join every adventure He gives me. Neverland will never happen because we can never be children forever (or if we try it doesn't fit because we have grown and moved on) but Christ offers us an opportunity to go somewhere beautiful, to Foreverland, that is Heaven. "To die would be an awfully great adventure," I think Peter got this right, and since I have died for Christ, my adventure is already started and still going on from now until my physical body dies and I truly enter into Foreverland.
I don't want to grow up, I want to grow in Christ.