Sunday, October 15, 2006

Relinquishing Control

The birds are taking wing over Lake Stumpf these days--on their way to a warmer climate somewhere south of here. You can here their honking most every evening as they come flying over the water in V-formation. Something inside of them (as well as the colder temperatures outside!) compels them to pick up and leave, looking for happier hunting grounds where lakes don't freeze over and trap their quarry.

I made my way across the bridge which links the north shore to the south last evening, not really knowing what was in store for me at the concert entitled, "Songs of Sinatra," by Steve Tyrell. I have to confess that I love Frank's music. Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that my parents had one or two of his LP's in their large record player. Tyrell was a pleasant surprise--how have I gone this long without listening to him? He's probably best known by my college readers as the guy who sang, "The Way You Look Tonight" in "Father of the Bride." But he's also recorded a slew of other classics which feature his unique voice--somewhere between silky smooth and rough gravel. So, there I sat weeping into my handkerchief as I sang along last night--geezers breathing hard on their aluminum walkers, interspersed with young college kids.

The band was also great and featured two guys I've heard live before on the trumpet and sax. Both were in the infamous "Blood, Sweat, and Tears" horn section which my wife and I loved and heard live on our first anniversary, and the sax player is the guy you would recognize from the Blues Brothers movie who hops up on the counter and wails away. The trumpet player (who could still hit and hold those glorious high notes) had to resort to his bifocals to play--a sign we're all getting older than we'd like to admit. After thirty or forty years of playing, these guys seemed to enjoy doing their thang just as much as they had with David Clayton Thomas and BS&T.

Today's gospel lesson was about learning to relinquish control (thus, the allusion above to the music and tears). Fr.Patella suggested this morning that, "the bad thing about wealth is that it narrows our focus and seduces us into thinking we can control past, present, and future." So, there I was again--the king of control--trying to figure out how I can "loosen up" and learn to follow Jesus better. Mind you, this doesn't mean unleashing the demons (after all, head and heart must find an Aristotelian mean and learn to live together).

But, I have noticed that as I get older, I am growing more sentimental. In short, my heart oftentimes just comes surging to the surface and it's all I can do to keep it together. Maybe it's being away from those I love. Maybe it's realizing that the view in the rearview mirror is as large, if not larger, than the one out the front. Maybe it's simply discovering this great sense of peace and joy in being where I'm at and doing what I do. I don't know. I only know that I need to figure out how to live inside my own skin--even when doing so means occasionally relinquishing control. So, as I attempt to live each day with joy and grace, I pray God will give me strength to take wing and to learn to rest in Him.