Letting Your Freak Flag Fly: Learning to Play
I grew up in the 60’s and 70’s, so my life was highly influenced by the “hippie movement.”
Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young songs were all part of that season, and I continue to sing along with them to keep myself awake when I drive for long distances. One verse from a song stands out to me:
“Almost Cut My Hair”
Almost cut my hair
It happened just the other day
It’s gettin kinda long
I coulda said it wasn’t in my way
But I didn’t and I wonder why
I feel like letting my freak flag fly
Cause I feel like I owe it to someone.
At an 8:00 A.M. Soul Care Steering Committee meeting, we got to talking about the ways that we were just plain old unique and different and maybe didn’t fit the mold of the what the world might describe as the “typical Christian.” As we told our stories and laughed hysterically, we decided to share our stories with our readers. Sometimes life is just too plain serious and we need the relief of something light.
I am a pastoral counselor in a predominately conservative Christian town of 6,000 people. There are no liquor sales in town and some boycott a business because they sell cigarettes. I think you get the idea.
I never was a true conformist (not surprising because I am a baby boomer). But, there is a part of me that really does like pushing the limit a bit.
I have always had a fascination with things like riding lawn mowers. There is such joy with putting on my old jeans, a stained tee shirt and a baseball cap and zooming across my yard on my Dear John Deere. Most of the men in my neighborhood do the mowing, but my husband knows he can only touch John to do repairs. Don’t ride on him! He is mine!
So, seeing the “professional 62-year-old lady” dressed in her ratty clothes is, I am sure, quite a sight for many. But, I really don’t care because I’m having a blast!
There is a tradition here in which an all-male lawn mower brigade participates in the 4th of July parade every year. They wear shorts and bow ties and do a really neat choreographed dance with their mowers. We all love it. But, no women!
A few years ago, I had a meal with another female riding lawn mower enthusiast and friend in her 50’s. As we chomped away, we had the revelation that we should enter our mowers in the parade. Bold as we are, we decided to make a statement and enter our riding mowers complete with women drivers.
I decorated my mower with what might be considered women things, such as a mop, a broom, etc. I wore high heels, my John Deere apron, and a pretty, feminine dress underneath. I was glamourous! My friend’s mower celebrated Barbie. She had dolls hooked all around her machine.
When we got to the parade line-up, low and behold, we were placed behind the men’s mower brigade. We got a good laugh about this until they had to push their mowers slowly up a big hill at the end and we glided past at full throttle.
So what is the point of this ridiculous story? One, I hope the image of these older ladies
made you smile today. Two, I hope you allow yourself to shine today just as God made you. Three, maybe we need to see life outside the box sometimes. It can be OK to “let your freak flag fly” and let your hair grow long. I am wondering if some might even have described Jesus that way?