“You cut your hair!” It was more out of surprise that I made the exclamation, than anything else. My family was gathered in our living room on a recent morning when I saw something that looked quite different about my nine-year-old son’s face. His bangs were squared off and higher around his forehead, and he blushed when I mentioned his new look. His embarrassment was palpable, and try as we might, my family couldn’t help but chuckle as he told his sad tale of woe.
It seems that when his hair was last cut he didn’t think it looked that great. Using an old pair of hand-powered clippers he had uncovered from a box in our basement he proceeded to “fix” it. He worked diligently, but soon discovered that the more he attempted to rearrange his look, the worse it got. We were grateful that he chose to stop when he did, or his only option would have been to start from “bald” and let it all grow in naturally.
Overall the style was not nearly as dramatic as my eldest daughter’s self-coiffure when she was only four. After her creative work she spent the next three months exclaiming, “I’m not a boy, I’m a girl” whenever she met someone she didn’t know. It makes me laugh now that she’s fifteen, but I wasn’t nearly as amused when it actually happened.
These experiences remind me of how I often take things into my owns hands when it comes to spiritual matters. I frequently attempt to fix issues on my own that I am simply not capable of re-working. I struggle with trying to bring about change and happiness by “doing something,” rather than allowing God to change me from the inside out. God has promised to give me a new heart, but sometimes I slip back into the idea that if I can just work hard enough, everything will turn out alright.
When I’m tempted to go back to that kind of rationalization I remember my children’s self-inflicted hair-dos and breathe a silent prayer for God’s help. My Creator is the only One who can bring about something beautiful in my life.
“I will give them an undivided heart and put a new spirit in them; I will remove from them their heart of stone and give them a heart of flesh” (Ezekiel 11:19).