Just some early morning thoughts from me to you…

Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead fix your attention on God. You will be changed from the inside out…

Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of maturity, God brings out the best in you…”

Romans 12: 2a (The Message)

There it is Wendy…second star to the right and straight on till morning.”

The words are those of Peter Pan to Wendy pointing the way to Neverland. And as I sit here this morning, I can’t help but believe it’s one of the great lines in all of literature.

Maybe it’s just the morning that causes me to identify with it so. Maybe it’s our two Granddaughters running around the house seeing things I haven’t seen in years. Maybe it’s the dreams—still needing dusting off—smoldering in my heart. I wonder what J.M. Barrie was feeling when he penned those words in his classic book “Peter Pan.”


By his own account Paul Potts of Cardiff, Wales always felt he was a little bit different. He was more than slightly pudgy and his teeth were noticeably crooked and yellowed. He had very little self-confidence probably the result of having been bullied as a child. He felt insignificant in life. And at first appearance he seemed to fit his impression of himself.

And yet there he stood on the stage of “Britain’s Got Talent.”


Our Son Nathan was five when we became convicted that despite the Civil Rights movement and the elimination of “separate but equal” from our culture—at least by the rule of law—we still had a long way to go as a society in knocking down the artificial barriers we had erected between us—based on skin color, gender, economic status, and the like.

And so Lynda and I established a rule, which we honor to this day—as a family we would not describe anyone by their skin-color. If we saw three boys standing in a group—one who happened to be African-American (Black, back then)—and you wanted to draw attention to him—you did so by saying that he was:

The one in the middle,” or

The one with the red shirt on,” or

The tall/short one,” whatever, just not by skin-color.

It was amazing to watch Nathan grow, always looking for something more in the people he saw, rather than simply their outward appearances, and never describing anyone by skin-color. Interestingly, and sadly, still today, if you listen closely to people speaking, they will seldom refer to skin-color if the person is white, but will far too often refer to skin-color if the person is black, as if to, often unintentionally, fit them into some pre-determined mold or stereotype.


And so there Paul stood, in a worn suit and wrinkled open-collar shirt, before the blinding lights on the stage of the TV show “Britain’s Got Talent” and before a stoic panel of judges and an anxious and unexpecting audience. After all, he was just a mobile phone salesman for goodness sakes. What was he doing there?

And then Paul Potts began to sing Nessun Dorma. His beautiful and powerful tenor voice rose beyond his common appearance and self-proclaimed feelings of being different and insignificant. Paul Potts’ humble nature and soaring voice reached the “second star to the right and rapidly headed straight on to morning,” changing the hearts of millions.

Initial impressions and judgments—now replaced with tears, “chill-bumps” and applause—were set aside on the notes and lyrics booming from his heart and from his dream—“to spend my life doing what I feel that I was born to do—sing Opera”—long locked within him by those who felt him less because of the way he looked. Long locked within him, because for the longest time, sadly he believed what everyone felt and said about him.

Until this one moment when he took a chance to fly to Neverland.


What’s inside you longing to come out? What mold or stereotype has the culture fit you into or dragged you down to—and you have believed it? What Neverland have you longed to fly to one day? What music within you has yet to be sung? What flower planted deep inside you—by the One Who created you—has yet to bloom? What dream smoldering within your heart, has yet to begin to burst into flames?

The rest of the lyrics from that song in Peter Pan go like this—

“When there’s a smile in your heart, there’s no better time to start,

Think of all the joy you will find, when you leave the world behind,

And bid your cares goodbye…you can fly, you can fly, you can fly!”

Paul Potts began the journey, the little boy in the red shirt was not held down by us, and if others did the same and did not judge him by outward appearances and stereotypes they held within who knows today what he has become.

There it is Wendy…second star to the right and straight on till morning.”

When will you begin the journey to your Neverland? When will you help someone else begin theirs?

Why not today.

In His Name—Scott

Copyright 2013. Scott L. Whitaker. All rights reserved.