Peter Pan Syndrome

Tony Sig

“When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I realized that being a child is way cooler”

Taking two weeks to sort out my mind, to meditate and pray, hasn’t resolved the world’s problems.  I am shocked because I really thought that it would.  What I have found is that I’m more motivated than ever to sell everything and move to a remote country farm and live the rest of my days off the grid of fossil fuels and fellow Christians; or myself, it’s hard to tell.

I like talking about God.  I like talking period.  That is probably part of the problem.  To quote Yoda, “Rest I need. Yes, rest.” I try to keep pretty up-to-date on the Anglican woes.  Who is saying what and why.  Who’s a heretic and who’s not.  Who is going to “win” – or more precisely who is going to lose?

Rest I need. Yes, rest.

The problem is that I have known since I was a little boy that God has called me to serve the Church.  Some days that excites me – mostly it frustrates me.  You see, I believe in “organized religion” – I believe in the Institution.  I believe in bishops and accountability.  I believe that there are good doctrines and bad, mutations of true belief and “orthodoxy.”  But I don’t want to make those calls.  I make them all the time yes, but I don’t want to anymore.  I want Jesus back on the flannel board and out of the Creeds.  At least I could talk to the Flannel Jesus.  At least when I didn’t give a damn about theology I was sure of my own.  I want a Christ Pantokrator!  Who takes care of everything for me.  Is there a flannel-board Pantokrator icon I can pray to?

Rest I need. Yes, rest.

I want to trust Christians again.  I want to trust that we can believe in Jesus more than a book.  I never want to have another conversation about 7-day Creationism or Women’s Ordination.

I want to trust that my faith won’t be slandered by cheap pluralism:  “Christ is THE way” becomes “Christ is A way” becomes “Give it the ole’ college try” becomes “You believe that the atonement and resurrection are necessary parts of the Christian faith?  They are just myths plastered over ancient archetypal fears of sexual repression

I want to believe that Baptists and Papists are both Christians.  Since most agree that they are, then I want to believe that we can take the Eucharist together, or minister together OR DO SOMETHING TOGETHER BESIDES A STINKING THANKSGIVING SERVICE!

Kyrie Elesion, Christe Elesion, Kyrie Elesion

Rest I need. Yes, rest.



  1. I think your break did you much good. I agree with your points and they are worth defending and worth the pain of having to endurance when they don’t seem to be upheld by those in the church or outside it.


  2. I nearly stood up and cheered when I read this, which would have been bad since it is nearly 3:00 am. Thanks for giving me a “Man, somebody else gets me” moment. Sometimes those are too few and far between.

    “Rest I need. Yes, rest.

    I want to trust Christians again. I want to trust that we can believe in Jesus more than a book. I never want to have another conversation about 7-day Creationism or Women’s Ordination.”


  3. I enjoyed this as it gave me comfort after I broke up with a girl this evening. She told me i have peter pan syndrome. I didn’t know what that was, so I googled, and you popped up as the 4th hit on Google.

    I was actually thinking of running away for a week to sort through ‘my peter pan problem’. It’s not much of problem as much as it just is. It is and why not just let it be and keep moving forward.

    My night has gone as follows: break-up with girl I’ve dated for two years, read your narrative, and think I need the opposite of rest.

    I’d like for Flannel Jesus to appear and tell me what to do, but he’s presently not showing up for this John Bender lover. My opposite of rest lies somewhere at the end of the Breakfast Club when John Bender raises his fist and simple minds starts playing ‘don’t you forget about me.’ I think that was John’s way of growing up and saying Flannel Jesus if your out there, I will find you. No rest but ready or not hear I come. I guess that’s where I end up at midnight just after my break-up; On a Journey to find Flannel Jesus (superb reference).


  4. billy,

    That totally sucks about the breakup. I’m glad that a silly quasi-theological rant can do something to lift your spirits.

    Love the John Bender reference by the way.


  5. Hey, as a fellow Episcopalian I agree totally with your sentiments about Christianity – so I’ve read into Thomas Merton who said he can’t be a Christian without also being a Bhuddist, Hindu, Jew, etc. A
    “Christ”-ian dedicated to opening himself up to all of Hu-manity – with a commitment to walking the walk and living the life of the Living Christ through love of his fellow (generic) man. Love is NOW – I get a lot of milage out of Sufi poetry, especially
    The Essential Rumi. Christianity is about opening up, not closing down; including, not excluding; LOVING, not judging. Peace Brother. JimP


  6. I was told by my wife of 5 years I have “Peter Pan Syndrome” and though I don’t like to have any label attached to me, Overall I’m OK with it. As a matter of fact, I’ll own it. It all stemmed from a festival I have attended annually for many years, This year was no exceptionI am 47, but hang out with much younger crowd, I seem to relate better to the Gen X and Gen Y vs the baby boomers. As far as the christianity concerns, I’m more of an E&C (Easter and Christmas) christian than an every Sunday go to church type. That doesn’t mean I don’t believe in a loving God, It just means I relate to God on a more personal level instead of wearing it on my sleeve, I’m not so sure about the orginized religion thing, even though my wife attends every Sunday. I’m very lucky in many ways, as I have a place in the country, 70 acres in the Woods Of Minnesota, It’s a great place to be all alone for thought generating.

    Sorry to hear about the GF Billy, If there is any consolation, it sounds like you were moving in different directions anyway, not that the hurt is less.


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