The word is accept and it took a few minutes more than five.
I finally got the hair right. I sat in the chair staring in the mirror. “I’m done with the scarves. I can’t stand it any more!” My hair has been in my face ever since I can remember. Growing up I had bangs, but they grew fast and hung thick and heavy over my glasses and when they were cut they looked too short for my face. My hairline is too low. Then I grew them out. My hair was straight as an arrow and would hold no curl. I just brushed it all down and still continued to be hidden. That was in the late 60’s and 70’s.
Years have passed. I have never accepted my hair. Cowlicks twist your hair into paths that flow opposite from the rest. I have spent life trying to train them. Now, sitting there, defeated by greying locks, my pride melted. “Let it grow the way it was intended to grow.” I'll spray it to hold it in place.
Surprisingly, after two weeks, I still like my hair. There is something about accepting the way you were made. We try to change it, hide who we are by rearranging ourselves, on the inside as well as on the outside. Somewhere we begin thinking (and In many cases, told) we are not acceptable to others and so we shouldn't accept our selves either.
If I could go back and change one thing in my life it would be my own dignity and respect for who I am in those situations where I know I let my fears dictate my actions. 1 Jn 4:18 “There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear; for fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love. (Esv)
I think that fear has its roots in dishonesty. When we don't know how to recognize what is true about ourselves and accept and face it, fears keep us dishonest and that is punishment. However, acceptance comes with having the courage to admit I need help. I have to accept the truth of what is right, not the lie that maybe nothing has to change.
“Scripture tells us as Christians we are accepted in the beloved. It doesn't say ‘Stay right there, don't grow.” The plant is beautiful on the table, but if you don't take care of it properly it will die.
So my challenge is the serenity prayer in its full version, posted below.
The key line in this is “He will make all things right if I surrender to His Will.” This is not Rom 8:28 “…He will make all things work together for good ….” Whether I surrender to His will or not, He will work things for His good and there is no condemnation, whereas my happiness in this life is based on my surrendering to His Will.
The Serenity Prayer
God grant me the serenity
To accept the things I cannot change;
Courage to change the things I can;
And wisdom to know the difference.
Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
Taking, as He did, this sinful world
As it is, not as I would have it;
Trusting that He will make all things right
If I surrender to His Will;
So that I may be reasonably happy in this life
And supremely happy with Him
Forever and ever in the next.
(prayer attributed to Reinhold Neibuhr, 1892-1971)