Monday, March 2, 2009

To Die Will Be An Awfully Big Adventure

So I am helping out with my old middle schools production of Peter Pan and during our performance this hit me during the song I wont grow up. In the song, Curly sings the verse.

I wont Grow Up
I will never even try
I will do what Peter tells me
And I’ll never ask him why

While the kids were performing this I thought about the implications of this. That in not growing up and in staying a LOST boy, you will never question what Peter tells you. I couldn’t help but juxtaposing that to the “faith” of most members in the Church. Most of them go along passively doing what is asked of them being sheep lead by the leader. I have always been a … goat. I have tried to find my own way but I was at one point content to be a sheep.

As I was listening to the kids perform I thought of this line from Corinthians
“When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. “ and thought of my need to put away my childish thoughts of just seeking to be blindly obedient and instead follow my own path.

But as is common in my mind I also thought of this scripture in 3rd Nephi
"And again I say unto you, ye must repent, and become as a little child, and be baptized in my name, or ye can in nowise receive these things.
And again I say unto you, ye must repent, and be baptized in my name, and become as a little child, or ye can in nowise inherit the kingdom of God."

So should I, like pan, peer through the window darkly, seeking the truth, or should I submit to become like a little child after all. Or is it circular having the beginning of a child then the growth of growing up and peering through the glass darkly and then become like unto a child again, willing to submit to my father?


  1. It's the latter. One of my all-time favorite excerpts from one of my all-time favorite authors, T.S. Eliot, said the same thing and more in "Little Gidding" from the Four Quartets. He talks about the paradoxes of life and ends and beginnings. Note especially the part that begins "We shall not cease from exploration". And forgive the length, but I think you'll really like all of it:

    What we call the beginning is often the end
    And to make an end is to make a beginning.
    The end is where we start from. And every phrase
    And sentence that is right (where every word is at home,
    Taking its place to support the others,
    The word neither diffident nor ostentatious,
    An easy commerce of the old and the new,
    The common word exact without vulgarity,
    The formal word precise but not pedantic,
    The complete consort dancing together)
    Every phrase and every sentence is an end and a beginning,
    Every poem an epitaph. And any action
    Is a step to the block, to the fire, down the sea's throat
    Or to an illegible stone: and that is where we start.
    We die with the dying:
    See, they depart, and we go with them.
    We are born with the dead:
    See, they return, and bring us with them.
    The moment of the rose and the moment of the yew-tree
    Are of equal duration. A people without history
    Is not redeemed from time, for history is a pattern
    Of timeless moments. So, while the light fails
    On a winter's afternoon, in a secluded chapel
    History is now and England.

    With the drawing of this Love and the voice of this Calling

    We shall not cease from exploration
    And the end of all our exploring
    Will be to arrive where we started
    And know the place for the first time.
    Through the unknown, remembered gate
    When the last of earth left to discover
    Is that which was the beginning;
    At the source of the longest river
    The voice of the hidden waterfall
    And the children in the apple­tree
    Not known, because not looked for
    But heard, half­heard, in the stillness
    Between two waves of the sea.
    Quick now, here, now, always-
    A condition of complete simplicity
    (Costing not less than everything)
    And all shall be well and
    All manner of thing shall be well
    When the tongues of flame are in­folded
    Into the crowned knot of fire
    And the fire and the rose are one.

  2. David, I think it is the circular, having the beginning of a child then the growth of growing up and peering through the glass darkly and then becoming like unto a child again, willing to submit to our father.

    Going along with something you said on facebook, there is a difference from being childish and childlike. Childish is immaturity and self-centeredness. Childlike is humility, submitting our will to God's.

    I see the circular process you described not only as a process we go through at various times of our life, but as THE pattern of life. We all start out as children and learn and grow. We become confident, sometimes even arrogant in our knowledge and abilities. We accumulate wealth and feel independent. Then as we age, we soften, our bodies become worn out. We become more humble again, more reliant on the Lord, even more childlike. We often leave this life much like we came into it, weak and dependent upon others. The difference is that hopefully along the way we have blessed the lives of others, learned the lessons we were sent here to learn, and gained wisdom that we take as our souvenir into the next life.