Lessons from Lost Boys: What Peter Pan Can Teach Us About Prayer

Picture of by Matthew Leonard
by Matthew Leonard
The Art of Catholic with Matthew Leonard

My 12 year old daughter Maisie Tinkerbell and Peter Panjust finished a three night run as Tinkerbell in the musical Peter Pan Jr.

I’m apparently becoming quite sentimental because I teared up the moment she took the stage. (I haven’t cried that much since Dennis Quaid struck out Royce Clayton in “The Rookie.” She was awesome!) But what really struck me in the program were the Lost Boys.

As we all know, the Lost Boys never grow up. In fact, they decidedly don’t want to grow up. Better to stay in Neverland where life is footloose and fancy free than become an overworked, stressed out adult. (Some of you probably have a Lost Boy living in your basement right now.)

Truth be told, this notion of eternal youth resonates with all of us at some level. While few of us desire to return to Jr. High, the responsibilities of adult life seem to crowd out the joy we once had as children.

The good news is that Christ tells us we shouldn’t grow up. “Unless you turn and become like children,” he says, “you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” (Mt 18:3)

Of course, this doesn’t mean never showering or leaving your underwear on the floor (issues more associated with one gender more than another). Rather, we need to recover our identity as children of God.

We were made for the divine family of God. That’s our destiny. Becoming a true child of God who lives a life of trust in His perfect Father is what a joyful Catholic life is all about.

How do we do that? Well, one of the key ways is prayer. In fact, the only prayer Christ taught us to pray was the Our Father. Its whole point is to help us turn our eyes upon God and learn to see him as our Daddy; to give of ourselves to him and let him lead us by the hand. And the reward is way more than an endless playdate with unruly ragamuffins. It’s the eternal life of inconceivable bliss surrounded by saints and angels in the real Neverland – heaven!

And speaking of heaven… if you haven’t yet done so already, don’t forget to sign up in the form to the right to grab a free download of my talk “Writing Straight With Crooked Lines: How God Saves You Even When You’ve Been Really Bad.” Trust me when I say it probably goes a direction you don’t expect!

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