White flag

19. April '10

I was thinking today about my favorite college professor who was my voice teacher. Mr. Dosien put up with a lot with me and all my growing pains as a young guy trying to get a handle on life and how I fit into it and the larger scheme of things… who I was and where I was going. The reason he was my favorite prof is because I could unload on him my frustrations and confusions without having the feeling he would laugh or just tolerate me. I’ll never forget the day I was doing just that… unloading on him. He listened for a long time and then without saying a word, pulled out his handkerchief and waved it above his head. I had no idea what he meant by that. But I sure do now. That was 37 years ago and now I have gray hair and have become convinced that life is all about learning how to wave the white flag. I am NOT in control… never was… never will be, even though maybe sometimes I think I am. And it’s taken me all these years to get that. It’s an easy concept to understand, but putting it into practice is another thing. Giving up is not something that is easily accepted in our performance-oriented way of life. And just giving up is not the answer… that would be resignation. I have to have someone to wave the white flag to. Surrender means surrendering to a victor. That person has to be someone who IS in control; someone I can trust to do what is right and good with me after I surrender. Someone who will heal my wounds when I come off the battlefield and not throw me into a dark dungeon to punish me for being his enemy. And so I am learning to wave the white flag to him, not just once but every single day. Here is the chorus of my song, “A Life in Forgiven Love” that expresses the difference between resignation and surrender:

There is no vision in routine and tradition

living secure in what is known.

But living is risking the pain of fruition.

There is no harvest in seeds not sown.

There are no tears in giving,

but in giving up.

But there is no loss in living

a life in forgiven love.