Thoughts,Songs,Writings,Rants,Encouragements, and Life

Monday, July 02, 2007

It's all over now

Today was our last performance of: "You're a Good Man Charlie Brown." It was sad to see all of the hard work come to an end. It seems like seven perfomances is so small when you look at the big picture of things. I almost always never want a show to end, mostly out of fear of no longer being around the people I have been so intimately training and practicing with for the past few months, but mostly because the acting ends and reality yet again sinks in. This time however has been much more difficult for me. I was playing a five year old thumbsucking-blanket loving-philosiphizing-child. I will miss it. I will miss the day in and day out of trying to act child like again. The truth is I am not very far from childhood, but I still feel the strains of having to grow up. I embrace it and hate it at the same time.

Truly do we ever grow up though? Isn't there are piece of a child in all of us. Do we maintain that innocence forever? Can we truly lose the dreaming side of child or the artistic abilities and ways of thinking that only a child offers? Or do we chose to shove them aside and forget them because we "have" to act important or together or even...grown up?

I was thinking how truly great it was that the Peanuts strip was new and fresh for almost fifty years. Charles Schulz had the opportunity to think, write, create, experience, draw, and concieve like a child for all of the fifty years that the Peanuts gang ran in the newspapers. (The strip still runs to this day, reruns of course.) I thought to myself how great and hard it must have been to be able to portray these children as not only children but also as intelligent human beings who were philosophers, psychiatrists, troubadours, musicians, and so much more. Schulz had the ability to make a childrens stip truly become adult.

While perfoming this weekend I realized how little of the gags and lines a little child could truly understand yet alone laugh at. Like Linus telling a dressed up Queen Lucy that she truly could never become a queen and yet she believes it is completely undemocratic that a person could never become a queen. The gag was the undemocratic part. But how many people caught that? I know I didn't until someone pointed it out and I was in the scene!

For so many years now I have struggled with finding a balance between being an adult and maintaining a childlike heart, hope, and faith. I struggle with this daily. I am a believer in the idea that I was created to worship God and make Him known to others so that they can worship Him in all His Glory, but I am also a believer in the thought that God also has given me the opportunity to experience joy and to be happy. Now that joy and happiness is truly found in Him and His creation. I think often that God has the best sense of humor. I think He wants me to laugh and be happy. I believe He places things in our lives to cause us to catch our breath or catch ourselves being too serious or important to not stop and laugh at ourselves and enjoy this earth He has created for us to find ourselves in and to be creative in. Children are the most creative. (Sit in on a four year old Sunday school class sometime, then you will see what I am talking about.)

Some of us hold onto our creativity and use it daily, while others throw it out the window like a used cigarette butt because it is done and used up. I hate that. We were created to create as well. In the act of creating we again pull upon our child like-ness.

Here is an example: the other day, I was riding around in the campus golf cart monologuing to myself about a fictatious conversation between two penguins in antarctica when I got to a bridge that leads to one of our houses on the church campus. Standing on the bridge was a Blue Heron. It totally took me off gaurd and my breath was gone. I had a WOW! moment. God showed me His humor on how good He is about distracting me back to Him. I had been creating, but it wasn't going anywhere, seriously, penguins? And then God stepped in and said how about a Blue Heron???

So often I have awe filled moments, so often do I try to create, so often do I find myself dreaming about being five again, so often do I cherish the laughs and smiles of children, and yet so often I base the validity of my life on the fact of whether or not I can be serious or not.

I was having a conversation with a mentor over breakfast the other day. (A Tillamook cheese omlette if you must know.) And we were talking about some of my dreams. One of them being:
I would love to be a Youth-Style Mission's Pastor. Leading and training students from 6th grade on up through College about missions and the importance of it. Then joining them on some of the adventures throughout the world.

The ultimate goal would be to set up a camp directed towards the training and such. Fully equiped with live action courses, team bonding experiences, and classrooms for training.

The honest truth is I am not sure how this will happen. Before I can even begin to let my dreams come true I hush them up and silence them. Why? Because of the fear of them not being accomplished. A child would never do that. They would continue to dream and try and make it happen with all the hope and faith they can muster up.

So the mentor and I began to delve a little deeper. We talked about the possibility of leading teams and me possibly doing that, considering it is my dream. My beloved Klemtu was brought up. I would love to lead a Klemtu team, but my fear is that I am too young or to childish or not grown up enough. Bobby immediately laid into me, "why is that?" "why do you feel that way?" And to be honest? I have a fear of being to kid like. A fear of not being adult enough. And yet here I am talking about being a child. With all of my heart I want to lead a mission team of youth. And yet I am to scared of not being completely with it to accomplish that dream! The thing is, in that last sentence I grew up. It's sad really, I grew up, in the process of trying to grow up, because I thought I was too child like. Do not get me wrong here, I know what a leader is and how they are to respond and act, but truly to lead youth, a part of you must still be youthlike as well. Thus I consider myself perfect for the role. I walked away from that conversation blown away and seriously stimulated to act on my passion and dream of leading youth mission teams. I also walked away with this passage of scripture:

2 Timothy 1:6-9 (6)“For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands. (7)For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline. (8) So do not be ashamed to testify about our Lord, or ashamed of me his prisoner. But join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God, (9)who has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace."

Wow! A spirit of power, love, and self-discipline. I want these things and I am truly trying to gain these qualities in my daily living. These are things that children may not have, the power and discipline part, but as an adult I can understand and impliment these into my life, the love part. Well, to be honest I have understood that since I was a little boy. Funny how those things balance out, huh? Funny about the timidity thing too. I am so timid to do things sometimes, because of fear of failure or being wrong. I truly believe that one of the greatest qualities a child has is lack of fear and huge portions of faith, hope,love, and passion. These are great qualities to have. And yet they are strongest in children. Why is that? It is truly a mystery to me, other than the idea of the world leaning on us to grow up and be serious. I can be serious, but I can also be childlike while doing so.

I am sad to see my role as Linus end on the stage today, but the role of Linus will stay with me forever, the heart of him and all other children are still in me I just have to let it loose every once in a while.

"Happiness is a fleeting thing Sally, but I think that a man can truly come closer to it by directing his life towards something he truly believes in. I also think that a man's personal search for happiness is not such a selfish thing either, because by achieving happiness himself, he can help others to find it. Does that make sense to you?" -Linus Van Pelt


Blogger Cheryl said...

I, too, am sad to say good-bye to the Peanuts gang, especially Lucy. I shed bittersweet tears yesterday. It truly has been a joy to have the opportunity to be child-like again.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts and the encouragement of truth from the Word. I feel that "Lucy" gave me so much more than I gave her! I'm inspired to take some of that Lucy-determination (sans the crabbiness)with me as I move forward on the path.

I'm proud of you little brother!

9:46 AM

Blogger Dean Christensen said...


That tension you feel between child and adult may just be the evidence of an eternal soul. Our souls don't age, they go on forever. Our bodies and minds of course begin to fight this and will until the end.

The trick is figuring out how to celebrate the childlike soul, but still operate in a world that requires responsibility and following the rules of life.

If I had to choose, I would always prefer to hang with a 60 yr. old who acts like a 25 yr old, than to be around a 25 yr. old who acts 40 (and I actually know a lot of those!)

I think you're making good progress. Keep at it, but never let your child-like soul be an excuse for irresponsibility or laziness (not saying you do... just a warning)

Lastly, I haven't seen you much during this show, but let me just say that I was darn proud of you. Many people commented to me on your great performance, and many talked about how much you reminded them of your dad. That may or may not be all good... but you made me proud anyway. I think I may have to sew some buttons back on.

Thanks for all your hard work on that show.

Love ya,


10:49 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ben, it was good to see you at the youth all-nighter last night!! You are such a great guy, and I'm so glad that Charlie Brown gave us the opportunity to get to know each other better!! - Becci :)

12:18 AM


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