An Unresolved Conflict

Royal Ascot Hotel
Jul 16, 2016

An Unresolved Conflict


Flash of Silver…the leap that changed my world

Question #31
Rite of Passage Eleven –Off to the Unknown–
1958—I am twenty-four years old.

Q: Unresolved Conflict: When conflict causes a separation without reconciliation it can remain a constant obstacle for life. Have you ever parted without an attempt at reconciliation? Is there yet still time?

At the time I just didn’t understand what my much older managing director had in mind for my future and it totally escaped me that he, in his seventies, might have been reliving his lost youthful opportunities…through me?

All I could see was years upon years of doing his bidding, taking his instruction and putting in at least ten years until I might be old enough to be accepted for a similar job in such a good hotel.

I was stuck and the scripture ‘a man is a slave to that which has mastered him’ had come to rest…with me!

I had somehow to learn lessons from being ahead of my time and being thrust into responsibilities way beyond my experience.

During my time in the British army I had been promoted to captain at twenty-two and given a major responsibility. It was this early advance that provided the basic foundations of self-confidence that helped me to agree to manage a four star hotel (the Royal Ascot Hotel) at twenty-four and to go on to be Chief Catering Advisor of the Royal New Zealand air force at twenty-five!  And it didn’t stop there as I found myself, job after job, so far ahead of my peers…that it took me years to catch up!

Should I, at any of these stages, have said “No!”?

Ambition is a strange inner drive. Not unlike a foot race with others breathing down my neck when a reserve of energy suddenly appears and I draw ahead – beyond my expectations? Better perhaps to keep that energy in reserve for the final push?

Royal Ascot Hotel

The Royal Ascot Hotel as it was. The hotel was demolished in 1964

So…what about now?

I am now the older man and nearing the end of my race. I have a wee bit of energy in reserve and take care not to squander it on selfish ambitions.

I found myself looking back to my unresolved conflict with Alex Taylor, my managing director and…yes, my mentor, the man who wanted me to succeed…almost in his place?

We parted amid his blazing anger and disappointment, and the threat that he would see to it that I NEVER got another management job in the British Isles…ever!

As time went by there were those ‘moments’ when I looked back in gratitude for the risk he took in my advancement and the time he took to help me succeed. At those times I wanted to write from far off New Zealand and let him know that I was, indeed grateful…regardless of the pain we had both suffered…I needed to say ‘thank you’.

I learned of his death and also of his unsuccessful later years when it was too late to have been a possible blessing to him.

Is there anyone in your past who may fit this bill…could it be that there is still time to express some deserved gratitude?

This week I read Treena’s poem Early Prayer


  1. Donna Says: 2:53 pm

    It is not always possible to repair a rift; it takes both people willing to do it. If one will not, then you just have to move forward. No regrets here.

  2. Jean N Sozio Says: 1:32 am

    It does take time – it is a process – but yes, after over 50 years submerged in a conflict of personalities and philosophies, I have emerged victorious with peace in my soul. By God’s grace He has made the crooked places straight, the mountains low, and the valleys high. It takes perseverance, keeping your nose to the grindstone, staying true to your own heart, repentance, and forgiveness. Praying with clean hands and a pure heart. God has removed the “bumble bees” from my life feeding off my captivity to them. Sweet freedom is such grand release. For me too there were some for which my gratitude was not expressed in time but knowing that gratitude was in my heart in all sincerity, I feel God has transcended that into the spirit world and all has been made good.

  3. Brenda R... Says: 10:23 am

    My life seems filled with conflict and my being the common thread… I don’t seek out conflict on purpose. My father once asked me if everything was black and white with me. I do see much of the world as right or wrong and little gray basing it primarily on the Bible, I think. Does it not say there is but one way to God? The road is narrow and few that find it. I find comfort and security in right and wrong though I miss the mark often and with great consequence. Conflict – the one that stands out the most is with my mother. We parted ways on bad terms when she moved out of my home to retire. It was a relief to have her go and it had been very contentious. We stayed in touch for a while. She wrote once and I was encouraged that we might mend the breach. I was truthful in my response but likely left out the “in love” portion. [Eph 4:15] We didn’t talk the next fifteen years. The last I heard from her was an envelope she’d given a sibling to be presented after her death. It was my last letter to her. Funny but I read it still seeing the truth in it.

  4. Lynn Severance Says: 1:24 pm

    I have known conflict, not of my doing, but another’s conflict thrust upon me. It had rippling affects which remain to this day in my family. Attempts to share “truth” were consistently met with obstinance.

    Graham quoted , ‘a man is a slave to that which has mastered him’ and in the circumstances I expressed from my own life, I slowly came to a place of recognition I had become a “slave” in believing in reconciliation that was not forthcoming – even now at 48 years.

    In essence, I finally said, “No”, years ago but it emanated from a different place than when Graham was in the fray of moving into his career. I said, “No” to my belief I could make a difference and was able to leave the matter completely in God’s hands. That brought peace, evidence that it was the right decision for me.

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