“How old were you?” Sarah asked.
“A little young, weren’t you?” Haydren muttered, returning his gaze to sweeping the forest around them.
“Werine couldn’t wait for me to grow up,” Pladt replied quietly.
—By Ways Unseen, Chapter 12 – Turns
And [Jesus] said: "Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 18:3
“Therefore let us move beyond the elementary teachings about Christ and be taken forward to maturity, not laying again the foundation of repentance from acts that lead to death, and of faith in God,” Hebrews 6:1
Over and over again, it comes out that Pladt is everyone’s favorite character. I don’t want to assume why, but he is admittedly fun and adventurous. He displays an excitement about the wide world that none of the other characters exhibit—too aged by life and pressures as they seem to be.
But it is clearly not without effort on Pladt’s part. Werine, and Pladt’s father, did everything they could to make him grow up, piling on the responsibility and taking away as much of his free will as they could. Yet Pladt is undeterred, and as soon as he can he reclaims his sense of awe, wonder, and adventure.
It is very easy for the world to strip itself of awe and wonder. Science, in trying to be objective, can seem dull and boring. Nature isn’t wonderful, it’s just a process, one that can be predicted and observed over and over. Wokeness teaches us that almost everything we venerated is still rife with sin and horror—but, as Christians, our identity is not to be based in what was, admittedly, imperfect at best.
“Hell is for children” sings Pat Benatar—for children who are so willing to trust, who want to love and be loved, and are used and abused by sinful parents and adults. To enter God’s kingdom, Jesus says, we must reject the imperfect example of our parents and accept God, His promises, and His love as we did when we were children. Often times His promises seem counter to what we observe, not only in our relationships but even within Nature.
And yet He promises it, and to believe in Him and the one He sent, we must often times get out of our heads and trust. Trust as a child. Then once we do that can we grow into a new maturity. This growth is important; we cannot simply jump sideways from our current, worldly maturity into an equivalent maturity in Christ. We still need to lay the foundation, the most basic principles of forgiveness, turning away from sin, and freedom in Christ. We need to firmly establish the joy, wonder, and awe of our salvation—then, not outgrow it, but establish it so firmly in our minds that it is never second-guessed. Rather, it becomes second-nature, it becomes assumed, and everything else we learn takes it essentially for granted.
With such guaranteed and wonderful promises behind us, we will more easily find the wonder and joy before us.
*This may be the last post for a bit, as I'm working on rewriting this portion of BWU and also working a full-ish time job. Hope you've enjoyed the previews and thoughts so far! Stay tuned on Twitter for the next blog post*