The Road to Now(where) XVIII- Finding Everland.

My blogging journey from the beginning for those who are interested. Each week I will include one of those original blogs from Martin Scott’s Perspective site. February 4th 2010 and the blogging began. Never did this before, but what therapy, what a joy, what a chronicling of a journey that never ends. In many ways things have developed, but it is good to see where we come from to appreciate where we are. All in the healing. Enjoy or endure…

The Traveller’s Rest- Finding Everland.

Whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will by no means enter it…

I put away childish things…

Big or Finding Neverland

I love a good movie. I love all sorts of movies. From the action adventure fantasy of Lord of the Rings (all 2 million hours of it) to the sci-fi adventure of Star Wars. From the comedy of Grumpy Old Men to the Rom-com classic Sleeping in Seattle (I may be the only male that loves a good old rom-com). I do have a strange thing going on in my life though when I watch any film, I always look for what is going on behind the story. God always seems to be in the cinema or watching Tv with me. Quite surprising really when I think that just a few years ago my father-in-law and many others would have preached against going to the cinema, a den of iniquity they called it. My wife has been told on a few occasions that the rapture better not happen when she is in the cinema or she would be left behind. Where did that come from? Now God seems to love and speak through all types of films. My favorites have always carried incredible messages. From Field of Dreams ‘if you build it he will come’ to the Matrix that many of us have related to in amazing ways. But it is not only big peoples films God loves, He also seems to love a good kids film. Two great examples are Big with Tom Hanks and Finding Neverland, or the great story of Peter Pan. Two films that speak about finding the child within, getting back to simplicity, never growing up. There is a great message here for all of us as we look to move forward in God. But it does also raise a question of balance as we rediscover the child within and yet mature and grow in the faith. We need to rediscover so much of the characteristic of a child and yet reject so much of the characteristic of a child. Don’t you just love the seeming contradictions and puzzles of the Bible?

Childish

We are told to put away childish things. That we should no longer be like children blown around with every wind of doctrine. I realise in my heart there are alot of childish characteristics. These traits can seem to permeate through the people of God. Here are a few character traits of that child within that acts so childish at times;

snatches always on the take. This seems to be a natural trait within many toddlers. Whatever they want they will try to take. No asking, no patience, I want it now. As a pastor I was often shocked at how deep the ‘me’ culture permeated the church. Selfishness seemed to abound. What can I get out of this? We all need to guard our hearts on these issues.

bears grudges refuses to forgive. There is abundance of broken down relationships through this issue. That person has hurt me. I will keep my wound. This is very relevant in our journey at this time. Many of us have been injured by people, systems etc. I include myself here. We need to watch the grudges that take hold in our lives. make sure it does not blossom into bitterness.

doubts loss of faith. Does not believe for the future.

not impressed by anything lost the wonder. I love living here in the mountains and valleys of Wales. When you come from the flat fenland of Suffolk you appreciate a molehill. Every morning when I look out of the window I am in awe of creation. To my wife who has lived here all her life it is just another view. Losing the wonder is a sign of growing up and becoming familiar. We need to watch this teen mood.

attitude the chip on the shoulder 24/7. You know the trait in your teenage kids sometimes. They just carry the attitude of a not nice giant around with them. You can see and sense it coming. Of course we never carry attitude.

pride  looking after number 1. I am number 1. Only I matter. Look at me and my life.

know it all I don’t need to learn and listen I have all the answers. Do you ever wonder why kids ever go to school because they know it all anyway? Always have an answer even if it is the wrong one, but even that is right. Boy how I lived with this when I was a pastor. Knowing everything from Genesis to Revelations, and not believing that others could not see what I was seeing.

logical got it all worked out from a-z. Here is my 95 steps to a bigger church/better family/ brilliant bible study. I will work it out if I just think it through.

by the letter this is what it says, black and white. Get it right you are in, get it wrong you are out.

Childlike

There is all this and then Jesus goes and says to us that unless we come to him like little children we will by no means see the kingdom of God. I want to see that. I want to come as a child. I want to rediscover the childlike qualities that make God smile and reveal the kingdom. Maybe I can even be childlike enough to believe that every childlike expression I make is an expression of the kingdom anyway. Here are some traits of the child within that is oh so childlike, and I think makes Daddy sing over us;

shares always giving what you have, even the last rolo!!! My eight year old has always revealed Jesus to me in this. He loves to give. He will give sweets and chocolate away without question (yummy, thank you Lord). He will give football cards and even sometimes toys to his friends. He loves giving. I just hope he never grows out of it. We should always be on the lookout to give and share what we have. A little oil, a small room, a few loaves and a bit of fish, size is not an issue.

forgives holds no record of wrongs. There have been times when I have lost it with my boys big time. Flew off the handle. Shouted lots of stuff, dished out some punishment. Created a pretty bad atmosphere. The way they shame me is in their reaction, yes there is the initial hurt, anger etc, but boy are they quick to forgive. Within minutes/hours they can be talking normal with me again. No not talking for weeks. No getting you back, just forgiveness. I love them. They are Jesus to me.

believes in the impossible and the improbable. I love a child’s simple faith. The leap off the stairs believing daddy will catch them. That good things will happen. That they can be the best footballer in the world or even a volcanologist.

wonder and awe the wow factor. Their face on Christmas day when they see the presents. Their reaction when we arrive at a place of great fun like Draytron Manor Activity park or the seaside on a sunny day. We need to rediscover the wow factor in our lives. We use the awesome word a bit too much now, but God is awesome. He takes our breath away. We are amazed by Him. Just last night I was in awe of God as I was at work stacking those pop bottles on the shelves. He spoke to me over a certain family issue. Did not like what He said, but I was in awe that His presence and reasoning was so real. Wow!!!!!!!!!!!

excited about life. There is too much deep joy about. If we cannot generate some excitement then who can? I am not decrying depression because it has had a good go at me over the last couple of years. Didn’t win but I could feel it’s breath. But I long to plug into that childlike excitement about life. Anticipation of what is to come. When my kids are going somewhere they are always downstairs ready to go about three hours before they are due to go. They are excited about what is ahead. Let’s not get too bogged down in issues. If we allow the issues to get bigger that God then we will drown. Keep excited.

humility the whole essence of the childlike life. Others number 1.

innocence don’t have to know everything. That age of innocence when kids know nothing of sex and debt and hate and broken relationships is slowly disappearing. The TV preaches to them about everything. The church would love to try and preach to them about everything else. Let them grow in their own way. Don’t you hate it when they know about Father Christmas, the Tooth fairy etc. My 8 year old makes me laugh so much. He said this year that Father Christmas was not real, I said no it was me who brought the presents into his room. He said it wasn’t. I asked him how they got there. He replied, ‘it is magic.’ We need to keep that magical kingdom alive in our hearts.

creative use the imagination. God gave it to us after all. I call forth the storytellers and the artists. I call forth the parables and the fairy-tales. I call forth the seers and the bards. It is time for the artists to arise and express the Artist. And if the Artist lives in us all we can all be creative in expressing our faith. Stop copying, throw out the moulds. It is time for creativity. The Creator of  every unique part of creation is actively creating in me. Creativity is expressing Him.

spirit not law. Live by the spirit not the letter. Bend the rules to be inclusive, don’t use the rules to be exclusive. That only creates a pharisee and not a child of God.

put away childish things

BUT

come with childlike humility and a servant-like heart, and the Kingdom will unfold before your very eyes. Everland will be found!!!

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One thought on “The Road to Now(where) XVIII- Finding Everland.

  1. Geoff Reed

    Loved it Paul, as you said great to look back to see where you have come to, this blog is a one to never forget mate.

    Reply

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