There’s a scene in Finding Neverland where J.M. Barrie, played by Johnny Depp, turns to one of his young co-stars and remarks: “How amazing. The boy is gone. Somewhere in the last thirty seconds you’ve grown up.”
Just two weeks ago I heard Jay Strack, president of Student Leadership University, comment: “There comes a time when the boy sits down and the man stands up.”
Taken together, these perspectives made me ask: What does it really mean to “grow up” in the Kingdom of God? What follows is by no means an exhaustive list, but just a few realities that have been true in my story. Maybe a few show up in your story as well.
- You will accept responsibility for something that demands risk. A friend of mine felt an incredible burden for the Haitian people. She thought about it, prayed about it, and acted in faith. She could have lost. But she didn’t. God is using her and her family in tremendous way. She discovered her passion and God is rewarding her.
- You will be broken. Often, this takes the form of simply being told “no.” Disillusionment and disappointment are the birth pangs of discovery. Ben Folds picks this up in his simple and profound video: “Still Fighting It.” You’ll grow. You’ll cry. And (in so doing) you’ll leave room for healing.
- You will engage a larger story. You’ll listen to others’ stories not just for entertainment or because they’re interesting, but because their story is your story. And because you have the same Author.
- You will throw away the map. Realizing that you’re likely headed into virgin territory, you’ll venture out. You won’t seek out a prescribed path. You’ll hear a soft call on the other side of a dense fog. And you’ll venture into the darkness.