What It Means to “Trust the Archulator”
from Rascal’s post, “Trust the Archulator“:
I had always expressed the belief that David was far more in control of his material, his performances, and his career trajectory than anyone–particularly the smarmy and skeptical press–had given him credit for… It’s a mistake to think that gentle compassion and humility don’t reside on a foundation of enormous strength. My concern for David–maybe even some misguided parental sentiment–led me to convey some thoughts and warnings to him about how brutal and selfish the entertainment industry could be, and how easy it is to lose sight of one’s own personal path. I think now that I needn’t have been so concerned. The thoughts themselves are pertinent regardless, but David has expressed a certainty of purpose that, while perhaps still somewhat sublimated, nevertheless represents an artery of guiding principles that continues to reveal itself as enormously trustworthy. David’s future is both bright and deep. Our confidence in his choices ought to be as unequivocal as our devotion to his work.
From David’s “Special Announcement” on Monday, Dec. 19, in Salt Lake City:
While I’m home in front of you guys here tonight, I would like to make a special announcement that I’ve chosen to serve a full-time mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. It’s not because someone told me that I was supposed to do it, not because that I no longer want to do music anymore, but it’s because it’s the feeling that I felt that I need to do next in my life. It’s just the same feeling that I’ve always followed, tried to follow, in my life. It’s the feeling that’s allowed me to have the opportunities I’ve had, the challenges I’ve had to overcome, and the blessings, too. I’ve learned to trust that feeling and I’ve learned that I need to answer when it calls.
Like so many of you, I’ve been contemplating so much since David made his special announcement Monday night about serving a full-time mission for his church. And I also understand all the varying emotions so many of you have expressed here.
As always, I’m deeply appreciative that so many of you feel so very safe to express your feelings here at Soul David (sort of similar to the safety David must have felt when making his announcement about his decision in front of a supportive hometown crowd). I’m still very much accepting of David’s decision – perhaps because I “heard” that announcement coming when he started singing Michael Jackson’s “Man in the Mirror” at his VIP meet-and-greets:
I’m going to make a change for once in my life/ It’s gonna feel real good / gonna make a difference / gonna make it right…
I had asked my faithful readers, “Is David trying to tell us something?” But no one really answered my question. It didn’t dawn on me that, after all these years, some of David’s die-hard fans really weren’t listening.
And perhaps it’s that realization that made me start feeling disappointment. This disappointment is less to do with David’s decision to go on a two-year mission and more to do with how some of his fans are reacting. Sheesh! No wonder David broke down and cried! This mission thing – something that most Mormons are brought up feeling they must do, especially one as devout as David – is really important to him, he knows how much of a sacrifice this would be to his career, and yet, he’s sticking to his guns and is willing to see it through.
And after all that he’s done for us – given us sweet, genuine, REAL MUSIC, given us his time, given us concert tours, vlogs, humorous tweets, and so much of his gratitude for being his adoring fans – some of us are claiming that David is being (GASP!) selfish. Um – Whaat?!?!
And if that weren’t bad enough, I’ve actually received private emails from other fans, not long after I posted my “Follow Your Heart, David!” blog, informing me that behind-the-scenes rumors reveal that David is more a “Jesus Freak,” a “religious fanatic,” an over-the-top zealot than he “lets on.” That, deep down, he’s not as “accepting,” “open-minded,” “caring,” as I’ve been led to believe.
That, deep down, so the gossip goes, he’s on the edge of a mental breakdown, that he’s overcompensating in a dance of sexual avoidance, that neither his family nor his church elders want David to go on a mission, that this is all David’s own doing since he dares to “love God” even more than his own family, even more than (GASP!) HIS OWN FANS!
Why, David, I hardly knew ya!
Because if I’m to believe all this gossip (received of course from those “very reliable sources” – TRANSLATION: by a bunch of back-biting, coat-tail-hanging, deeply envious, not nearly as damn-near-talented or damn-near-good-looking folks “in the know”), then I also have to believe that I’ve been “bamboozled and hoodwinked” by a cunning little snake masquerading as an innocent and righteous young man with incredible talent.
Honestly, who am I supposed to believe? Some envious hangers-on, who have been quite adept at dividing David’s fan community, or David himself?
I’m going back to an old saying put forth by another David fan, who led me down this path of David blogging. Rascal, who himself was run out of Archutown, once said: “Trust the Archulator.”
You know what that means? It means that, when David says he must follow a “feeling inside” that he’s learned to trust, that I’m going to put my faith in him and trust in that feeling also.
It means that, regardless of my personal feelings about his particular chosen faith (and I don’t subscribe to the doctrines taught by the Mormon faith), I believe in David’s own convictions, and he convinces me of the existence of God because I hear it everytime he raises his Voice in song and everytime he acts with integrity and sincerity.
It means that, if a mission is what he believes he needs to do at this time, then I will wait for him to come back to the music he is so blessed to be able to create and that WE are so blessed to be able to have.
It means that, when David chooses to walk away from a failing label like Jive records (which FOLDED not long after he parted ways), we trust that the musical direction he’s choosiing will open new doors and lead to new pathways.
It means that, when David comes to a friggin’ finale competition – when everyone else assumes he will be “crushed by his competion” – David’s going to come out swinging and stomp everyone else in the dust, cause when he catches fire, look out! (Remember that Season 7 finale on American Idol?).
It means, above all, that David is in control precisely because he has let God be in control of his own destiny. And everytime he lifts his Voice, and he grabs at your soul, and you find yourself in the throws of an ODD fix, and you can’t explain why you’re completely devoted, that’s a higher power taking over.
Perhaps David’s own personal experiences has limited his own understanding of that power and has caused him to focus on a particular faith tradition that you may not agree with, and perhaps David will continue in the faith after the mission, or he might engage in self-discoveries that lead him to other paths. We do not know.
What we do know is that David is a man of enormous internal strength and enormous compassion. Such qualities have intensified our love for him and for music.
It saddens me that our world has become so hardened, so materialistic, and so devoid of Spirit, that we think something as inconsequential as a pop music career (at a time when the music industry is fast deteriorating) is worth more than the majestic call of an inner Voice telling him to do what he must.
David is one of kind, and trust me: they don’t make boys like him anymore.
Anyone who can make me feel love, spirit, joy, and soul in music is someone worth trusting and worth accepting unequivocally. Anyone with such deep integrity is destined for great things.
It’s not a coincidence that his next single is called “Wait.” I’m keeping my candle burning, and this Christmas season, I look forward to watching him on my TV again for Christmas eve, when my local PBS station plans to re-broadcast his performance with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.
You may berate his choice of faith and his choice of a mission, but don’t ever forget: that faith is why you cannot let go and get enough of The Voice and why some of y’all are bellyaching that there will be a two-year void without it.