And on the brave and crazy wings of youth
They went flying around in the rain
And their feathers, once so fine, grew torn and tattered
And in the end they traded their tired wings
For the resignation that living brings
– Jackson Browne, “Before the Deluge”
Have you experienced the resignation that living brings? I have.
What have you done about it? Should anything be done about it?
Is it just the way life goes? When you’re young, you want to tackle the world. But as you get older, you lose that drive. Because tackling the world hurts. And it wears you out. And you grow resigned.
When I sat down to write this post, I was hoping someone would have some inspiring words for me. Either that, or maybe I was just going to resign myself to feeling resigned. But I realized I left a couple lines off the verse I quoted above:
They exchanged love’s bright and fragile glow
For the glitter and the rouge
And in the moment they were swept before the deluge
I don’t want to be that person who is content to be resigned. So how do you keep your passion for life—for living the gospel, for your work, for your talents, for your causes—alive?
Two phrases keep coming to me. The first is “endure to the end.” That sounds so passive, doesn’t it? Why do we have to endure? Why can’t we fight, laugh, dance to the end? Maybe because it takes emotional energy we just don’t have. The second is “anxiously engaged in a good cause.” I think that’s what I want and need to be. I’ve got good causes all around me—my family, the gospel, friends, some pet causes. But how anxiously engaged am I?
How do I become more so?