Last weekend, my 11-year old daughter played a pirate in the musical Peter Pan, produced by Christian Youth Theater in Indianapolis. To say this show was amazing would be an understatement. It was beyond amazing! As it tends to go anymore with me, I learned something I didn’t expect to learn.
I was in tears. It’s a good thing the theater was dark for a majority of the show because everyone around me would have witnessed me crying like a baby. I couldn’t help it though. I love stories and I love imagination. Peter Pan has both. And being a father, I love my kids. Combine all of those together and you get a mushy ball of emotion.
I imagine I was not the only parent who was overwhelmed. The show really was moving and inspiring. It was so good, that I went back the next day and saw it again. Plus, my kid nailed her part. She did such a good job and my wife and I were both so proud of her. We have become huge fans of CYT. They do such an amazing job and they are so good with the kids. Their leadership, communication, and productions are all over the top. We could not be more thrilled that our children are a part.
On Saturday night, as I walked into the lobby of the theater, I noticed they were selling fairy wands that lit up in a multi-color array. As we settled into our seats, the emcee came out and shared several announcements but also told us that we needed to keep the wands turned off until a certain point in the show when we heard Peter Pan say, “I do believe in fairies!”
Telling an auditorium packed full of children, 10 years old and younger, not to turn their multi-color flashing wand on until it was time, is like putting a dog in a room with a t-bone steak and expecting him not to devour it until you tell him to. 🙂
All I can say about the moment Peter Pan said those words, and the wands lit up is, “Wow!” Talk about water works- this put me over the edge. What moved me the most was what I saw happen a few rows in front of me. As he said the words, “I do believe in you Tink, I do believe in fairies,” a little girl, no more than 4 or 5 years old, nestled next to her mom on the very front row, jumped out of her seat, turned her wand on, and with both hands extended as far as she could get them, she held it up high and waved it back and forth. She jumped around excitedly as the fairies on stage danced and waved their wands. I was moved.
“The faith of a child,” I whispered with a smile, as I watched it all unfold.
I wonder- when did this start to fade out for me? When did I get so consumed with the hustle of the day, that I forgot what it was like to imagine or dream? At what point did my perspective become so jaded and convoluted from the torrents of life, that simple blind faith became merely a thing of child’s play?
Somewhere between setting down our GI-Joes or Barbies down and walking into a job interview, the day after college, we lose our way. We tell ourselves that we must grow up, must take responsibility, and must be serious about the stuff of life. I’m certainly not advocating that we shirk responsibility or continue to act like a 4th grader in adulthood. What I’m pointing out is that we rarely allow ourselves to dream or imagine anymore. We stop approaching life with childlike faith.
We stop getting excited about a winter snow or dandelions on an April morning, like we did when we were 8. We don’t laugh at ourselves anymore when we do something silly, like we did when we were 5. And, unfortunately, this begins to rub off on our children, who still do imagine and dream and look at life with simplicity and wonder.
What if we as adults, parents, grandparents, aunts or uncles, approached life like that little girl on the front row of the show the other night? In simple, child-like faith, she believed. She imagined. She was filled with the wonder of it all. What if we allowed ourselves, in the midst of everything we had to accomplish, to look at the world around us with a little more wonder and awe?
How would our lives change?
You see, it’s not about believing in fairies. It’s about believing period.
Question: Have you had an experience like this recently? You can leave a comment by clicking here.
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