Some of my earliest and fondest childhood memories are of watching, “The Wonderful World of Disney” as well as early Disney movies. In the childhood classic, “Peter Pan,” there is a part where Wendy falls in love with Peter. Under the moonlight, in the forest of Neverland, she tries to talk seriously to him about it.
“Peter, what are your real feelings?” She asks.
“Feelings?” Peter responds.
“What do you feel? Happiness? Sadness? Jealousy? Anger? Love? She probes.
“Love? I’ve never heard of it.” Peter replies.
Wendy continues, “I think you have, Peter. I daresay you’ve felt it yourself…for something, or someone.”
“Never. Even the sound of it offends me.” Peter retorts.
Wendy reaches for Peter in a loving gesture, and suddenly he runs away, shouting, “Why do you spoil everything? We have fun, don’t we? I taught you to fight and to fly. What more could there be?”
“There is so much more,” she answers.
“What? What else is there?” Peter replies.
Wendy pauses and says, “I don’t know. I think it becomes clearer when you grow up.”
In response, Peter firmly declares, “Well, I will not grow up! You cannot make me! Go home and grow up. And take your feelings with you.”
“I will never grow up,” is Peter’s motto and he never does. But in his quest to always have fun and never become a man, Peter Pan must guard his emotions closely. He can never truly love anyone, for if he did, he might take responsibility for their care, and responsibility is too grown-up for Peter Pan.
Far too many Christians, or maybe better, “proclaiming Christians” feel the same way as Peter, “Well, I will not grow up! You cannot make me!”
By choosing to avoid responsibility and pain, God’s work in our lives is hindered and our potential is limited. We cannot fulfill His will without being fulfilled in His will.
Some may blame others for their lack of growth. This is the same “blame game” that started in the Garden when Adam blamed Eve and Eve blamed the serpent.
The truth is, we are as close to Christ as we want to be.
God uses both good and bad people as well as good and bad circumstances to conform us to the image of Christ. Whether we learn and grow from people and circumstances is up to us.
God created you, loves you, and has given His life that you may know and experience Him in a real and personal way. He created you to enjoy a relationship with Him and glorify Him before the world. It is true – God has plans for you!
You may choose to live in a “fairy tale” world and say along with Peter, “I will not grow up! You cannot make me!” and avoid dealing with eternal realities. Or you may come to Christ humbly and determine to deal with feelings, attitudes, and behavior with His help.
Allow Him to show you where you need to grow. Then depend on Him to make you like His Son (Romans 8:28-29).
I won’t kid you. Growing is often painful – but not as painful as immaturity.