By Judy Brandon: Religion columnist
I will never forget the feeling I had when our children were little and the weather caused schools to be called off for the day. I would get up eagerly in the morning, listen to the radio, watch the television and just hope that conditions were bad enough that school would be cancelled.
I enjoyed those days because we were all home together and there was no rush and no deadlines. School mornings always brought tight schedules. The children and I were going our separate ways by 8 o’clock so that meant that everything had to go off without a hitch. On those mornings, a few minutes were valuable and it was necessary that the getting up and getting ready process was followed. Any parent knows that the hour before leaving for school in the morning can be hectic, especially if things don’t go as planned.
We invariably had hair trouble but it wasn’t our girls who had the trouble. It was John Scott. As a child, his coarse thick blond hair was really unmanageable. His hair definitely had an inclination of its own.
Each school morning, we would work and work on John Scott’s hair and it would never lay down right. There was always a section sticking up in front that resisted all our efforts. We tried hair spray, gel and an array of other hair care products and nothing brought about a presentable look. After a night’s sleep, his hair had a mind of its own.
In desperation one morning, I accidentally hit on something that was the remedy. During breakfast, I put a warm damp washcloth on John Scott’s head that covered all his hair. He sat there, ate his Captain Crunch with the warm wash cloth covering his head, the ends dangling just above his eyes.
I still have memories of him peering out through that washcloth. But when he was through eating, John Scott combed his hair. Something wonderful happened on that day; that cowlick in front was tamed! The damp heat took all the resistance out of the cowlick and the hair segments that stuck up at random. I then could be confident that he would go to school looking neat and kept rather than walking in the door with hair that looked as though it hadn’t even been combed.
So the wet washrag became a tradition around our house during grade school years. John Scott discarded that idea when he went to junior high because he got into the blow drying and styling stage. Yet, John Scott’s and my life became better because of the damp wash cloth that tamed his unmanageable hair.
Just like John Scott’s hair, often people want to do their own thing and refuse to consult God on any issue. The Psalmist just really got right to the point when he said that some people can be like the horse or a mule that lacks understanding (Psalm 32:9) Some people have certain ideas and certain ways of doing things and nothing will change their minds.
But the best life is one that is lived by changing personal plans and focusing on God’s plan. For people who are self sufficient and strongly independent that is hard. But even those people could still use some guidance. No one knows the future and each time we make a decision, there area great ramifications for the unknown of tomorrow.
Giving up one’s own personal plan for God’s plan, results in a life that is lived in tribute to God. Just look at Mother Teresa, Corrie Ten Boom, Jim Elliot, and the millions of other dedicated believers over the years.