Letting go of the Trump in all of us

My need to let go is endless.

Last Friday after a 12 hour work day I go to a meeting I haven’t been to in a while. I’m driving too fast, seeing a speed camera click behind me, changing lanes without signalling. None of this was necessary. All of it was revealing my poor spiritual condition.

What I am doing is more important,

I can hear myself think. My teeth grind; my hands clench the wheel.

Of course I could have left earlier and allowed myself more time. But every second is too valuable. I am too important to the people I’m with.

It began earlier that day when I so ironically posted on the fruitlessness of being selfish—a post I thought so masterfully crafted it should go viral.

All that went viral was my grandiosity.

I arrive at the meeting at 8:30 sharp. The basket was being passed for ‘half-time.’ The meeting had moved 30 minutes earlier without my knowing. I stew the remaining 30 minutes, not hearing what people have to share; instead all I see is people who could have warned me the meeting was moved.

Sunday, after a long day of daddy duties and errands, I drive to catch a meeting; I hope to compensate for the one I missed Friday. As fate would have it, I’m idling in an empty church parking lot. Another meeting has moved without my knowing. Only this time there’s no one there to blame…except me.

So what do I do?

I think I can best articulate my two options in two opposing scenes. One ends in misery, the other joy.


I heard an NPR story about Donald Trump yesterday morning. The founders of the satirical magazine Spy pegged trump as a “short-fingered vulgarian” in the 80s. The epithet stuck, mainly because Trump obsessed over it. It still haunts him. The comment about his hands actually prompted a recent allusion to his privates which he had to assure the American voting public were “no problem” during a presidential debate!

This articulates my misery. Three decades later, I am obsessing over myself to the extent that I need to air an embarrassing and paranoia-filled grievance in front of a live national audience.

When I obsess over vanity today, I get sick of myself, quickly.


Our town hall held a family dance party ten days ago.

“Let it Go” spins the DeeJay. Children frozen no more.

The glitter, the twirling. “The cold never bothered me anyway.”

Children are cupping their hearts and flinging their arms wide in exuberant detachment from care.

How simple and carefree are they? And how happy.

This articulates my Joy.

The slapstick, jaw agape, let-it-go happiness Christ may have been referring to in the book of Matthew. Sometimes growing up does nothing but complicate life in needless miserable ways.

Thank God for children that they may remind us of the beauty in letting go.


7 Responses to “Letting go of the Trump in all of us

  • I love the title of this post. Because I know I have some Trump inside of me. I greatly admire your humbleness, something Trump doesn’t appear to have. You are moving forward and learning. That is only thing that can be asked of any of us.
    I like you header. Did you take the picture?

    • Thank you Birdie
      You know my wife did. It is in Salt Lake City, UT. I think one of the special parts about the photo (which is my favorite photo) is the Salt Lake in the background makes for this other-worldly feel. Thanks for reading. Oh and I was wondering did the “black dog” of your site in any way reference the artist Nick Drake? He is one of my favs.

  • Oh Mark, this post made me laugh….only because I so get it. We all have that need to be super important. I love your writing! I think the most important thing we all can learn is that even if we never did another worthwhile thing for the rest of our lives, we are important just for being us. Just for being a created child of God. It is so hard to rest in that place though, and not try to prove our worth or earn our place.

    • Annette. Wow. That is it! So hard to rest in that place like you say. But that’s it! I have trouble resting anywhere. I am one restless individual! Thanks, as always, Mark.

  • All I can say is, how long had it been since you went to a meeting?!

    • It had been about five days. My meeting time has to be so regimented with taking care of kids and work, so I am real frustrated to miss them when I have the chance. Thanks for visiting!

  • Nice, Mark. Dunno how I missed this one last time around!

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