Rite of Passage: Hair today, gone tomorrow?
After six days of creation, God the Father stepped back, crossed His arms and surveyed all that the Holy Trinity had accomplished. He went over His mental checklist: matter, time, space . . . check. Waters above, waters below . . . check. Light, sun, moon, stars . . . check. Plants, animals . . . check. Humans, check. One male and one female . . . check. Satisfied that He had uniquely embedded His glory in everything He had made, He put his stamp of approval on it all with the pronouncement, “It is good.”
I would never question God and the quality of His creation. But the older I get, the more I mourn the effects of the Fall of man.
I am beginning to experience symptoms of the male change of life. My metabolism has slowed down. I used to eat pizza and ice cream with nachos for dessert right before going to bed. I never gained an ounce, and I never had acid reflux. Now if I so much as think about eating those foods, I have to let my belt out a notch and dose myself with antacids.
Why couldn’t God have turned it around? At birth, we would have a slow metabolism that would eliminate all need for midnight feedings. As we moved into our senior years, our metabolism would approach that of a humming bird. My wife, who has taken on the role of guardian of what used to be my waistline, loves to remind me about portion size. As best I understand it, this means if I touch a thimbleful of chocolate ice cream, I will blow up to the size of the Hindenburg.
But the second wave of this fallen body experience is the phenomenon called “gravitational hairs.” Do you realize we men do not lose our hair after all? After a number of years on this Earth, it simply gives into normal gravitational pull. The hair on my head is thinning out, but it’s not . . . gone. One day I awoke to find the beginnings of a wooly bush sprouting inside my ear canal.
Since I came of age in the 1960s, I don’t mind long, flowing hair. I just never expected to find it in my ears and nostrils. My wife gave me one of those cheap ear and nose trimmers for Christmas, and I was surprised to have it stall out the first time I used it. I upgraded to a professional one that looks and sounds like a miniature turbo engine.
As soon as I adjusted to trimming my ears and nostrils, God threw another surprise my way. Out of the middle of my right eyebrow came a gigantic protruding gray hair. My dark brown eyebrows have always laid very nicely on the front of my face. I had no idea where this gray hair came from, but it was nothing like any other hair on my head. In the hair world, they would label this granddaddy of all hairs . . . industrial.
I learned something else: industrial hairs are like mice. If you find one, you can be certain there are more scurrying around somewhere. Sure enough, these industrial gray hairs began to sprout branches that resembled those of a weeping willow tree. Every night when I go to bed, my eyebrows look normal. By the time I wake up, they have grown a long, gray, industrial mullet.
God used my preoccupation with the strange hairs on my head to remind me of one of His truths. There have been many times when I felt as though God wasn’t aware of what was going on with my family, my finances, my job or my life. Why would God who gets a million prayers every minute (many of them dealing with life and death) care about the trivial things going on with me?
That’s when I rediscovered Matthew 10:30, “And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered.” Yes, God used the hairs of my head to remind me that everything in my life matters. My family, my job, my finances—every detail of my life matters to Him.
It takes an extremely watchful eye to keep count of the hairs on your head because that number is constantly changing. Old hairs fall out, new hairs come and some hairs gravitate to other locations. Yet at any moment, God is so aware of your life that He can tell you exactly the number of hairs you have on your head. What a watchful eye our God has over us!
As I enter this season of gravitational hairs, I suppose I shouldn’t complain. At least I have hair. I wonder what God counts on a bald man?
Walker Moore is president of AweStar Ministries in Tulsa, P.O. Box 470265, Tulsa 74147, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, phone 800/AWESTAR (293-7827).