Throughout my adventures of the past six months, I was able to spend the last week doing a bit of traveling. I was down in London, and my friends and I were determined to find the Peter Pan statue in the Kensington Gardens. We looked far and wide, and right as the excitement was at it's peak, we turned the corner... and there he was.
Peter Pan, the boy who would not grow up.
Now Peter Pan is a classic character from our childhood. A story that we all know, love, and adore. When I watch it, it just makes me want to go exploring, and forget all my responsibilities. I want to run through the forests, live in a treehouse, sword-fight with pirates, and hang out with mermaids. What is it, besides these previously named adventures, that draws me to Peter so much? Why is it that a life of staying young, remaining irresponsible, and never growing up seem so appealing?
I think the reason I cling to this story so dearly, is because I am scared. Scared of growing up.
Don't get me wrong, I still love Peter. I think he teaches us what it truly means to be joyful. Ya know, the kind of joy you feel in the pit of your stomach, and the bottom of your heart. I also think Peter teaches us courage.
There is something so beautiful about the fearlessness of a child.
So, something to keep in mind is this:
We are never to old to sword-fight a pirate.
Anyway, if you remember the story of Peter Pan, you will recall that his relationship with Wendy was not always perfect. And the flaws in this relationship were always rooted in the argument of whether or not to grow up. Peter never wanted to grow up, and Wendy did.
But here is my point. Even though Wendy grew up... She still went to Neverland.
Now, I believe that Wendy's trip to Neverland changed her life. She learned things there that she could have never learned in the real world. She learned courage, and she learned the value of keeping the good things about being a kid.
But, the things we learn aren't real, until they are applied.
We aren't "changed" people, until we take the things we learn, and apply them to our life. We can sit down and be taught something, but until we do it ourselves, we haven't learned anything.
Think about when you learned how to tie your shoe. The teacher showed you a thousand times. But you can't say, "I know how to tie my shoe" until you do it yourself.
Now, it's obvious that the trip to Neverland is absolutely necessary. I mean, if it wasn't for Neverland, Wendy would have been the person she is today. But, Neverland is only a chapter of her story.
I think I view my time at Capernwray as a sort of "Neverland" experience. I had the best times of my life. I learned the biggest lessons, and made some of the greatest friends a girl could ask for. I would not be the same person right now, If i didn't go to Capernwray. But it is now the point in my story where I apply the things I learn. I make those things my reality. I become the changed person that I think I am. I make my Neverland a reality.
I think this principle also greatly applies to our faith. It is one things to believe in a God, and it is something else entirely to follow a Saviour. No, I am not preaching grace by works in the least. But I am saying that nothing is real until we apply it. So, you may believe in God, but is it real? Are you acting like it? Have you taken what you've learned and applied it to you life? Or are you still in Neverland?
So, my friends.
Let us find and appreciate our Neverlands.
Let us see all the beauty we can there.
Let us learn unique lessons.
and then, Let us bring them home with us.
Let us apply them to our life.
Let us be the people that we have the potential of being.
Let us be Wendy, and Peter.
Let us make our Neverlands a reality.