From the Newsletter: “The Haircut”

barber

Dear Friends of Second Church,

Do you ever have weeks when you need a haircut, but you can’t quite make it to the barber?

Liz tells me that this is pretty much a “guy problem” — apparently, she makes an appointment for that sort of thing…has someone she goes to…whom looks forward to seeing…who’s been in her life longer than I have….

I find that too confining. And since I have had the same hairstyle since fourth grade, there’s a level of expertise my personal chirotonsorial needs simply do not require.

But I realized it was time for a haircut when I came downstairs in the morning, and Emily roared with laughter and said, “Poppy, you’re so silly.” Apparently, my hair looked like I had messed it up on purpose, which I had not.

That was a week ago.

I suppose I’m thinking about it now, not only because I still need a haircut, but because it also reminds me about how I seem to find it so hard to make it to the gym. Or to change the oil in the minivan. Or to do any number of other tasks.

Why is it that the things that can happen “anytime” seem to take so much longer to accomplish?

Recently, I was at a wedding reception, and someone told me how they’d keep meaning to read the Bible, but…you know…. It was on their list for when they retire. Which seemed like a good idea, except that they looked to be about 40.

In a similar vein, people often tell me how much they’d like to get more serious about prayer, finding a church, or talking to their children about Big Spiritual Things….but….

To be fair, these things take time. For a lot of us, time is far and away the most precious currency we have. Do any of us need a new thing to be half-attending to, like the podcast that runs aimlessly through your headphones while you check your email?

Surely not.

Indeed, time is something we make, not something we find — so clearly, it’s better to wait until we’re willing to make the time. Why fool ourselves…right? Right?!

That’s where I’m not so sure.

And this is where haircuts, gym visits, and oil changes have so much to teach us.

Because learning to balance the daily little “shoulds” helps to strengthen us for the work of undertaking the bigger ones—the slower, deeper practices that come to shape our souls. In learning to find time whenever we can, we learn to make something with it. And God finds a way to make something more of us.

Would we do more if we only had more time? Surely yes.

But if we begin where we can and keep at it, faithfully, it’s amazing to see how far we can get—and amazing how the time just seems to open up to go even further.

See you in church,

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