I tried several times to grow out my hair long.
But each time, I got really frustrated and annoyed with my hair passing a certain point beyond my ears.
But here I am, looking over the ordination exams again.
I feel a sense of annoyance (more at myself than anyone else). I don’t want to write out all the answers again. I don’t want to go through this stress again.
But, I have no one to blame but myself for being in this predicament. Again.
I have this problem with self confidence. Call it arrogance. Call it pride. Call it ego. Whatever you want to name it, it resides in my heart.
There are moments where I believe I am the better fit for a situation or a cause. And I think ego is healthy. You can’t be successful in any venture without ego. But too much of it is deadly.
Let’s just say that I had a real easy time getting commissioned.
Everyone loved me. Everyone could see my call into ministry.
And, perhaps there was a part of me that thought UMC needed me more than I needed UMC.
That’s how I approached my paper writing the first time around.
Not surprisingly, my papers did not pass that year.
The next year, I approached the papers with much prayer and humility.
My papers passed. However, I did not pass the interviews. I didn’t see it then, but my wife pointed it out to me about 2 weeks after I found out that I wasn’t going to be ordained before I turned 30. She said, “All the days leading up to the interview, on the drive to the interview, as you sat to be interviewed, you kept saying ‘I want to get this over. I want to get this over.’ As if you already had it in the bag, and you were just going through the formalities.”
It was a dose of reality I needed to hear.
My ego went beyond healthy to not yet deadly, but it became counterproductive.
So. There is no sense of any entitlement or achievement in my heart as I began the process. Again.
I am not taking anything for granted, nor am I thinking that I got anything in the bag.
I feel like I got much to prove, a healthy chip on my shoulder, if I can say.
But. I think I need a physical reminder. I need to look at something and be reminded to be a humble servant.
Many athletes start growing a playoff beard. If they’re teams on the brink of making the playoffs, they don’t shave until they make it. Or, they don’t shave until they win the whole thing.
I unfortunately can’t grow a beard. Even if I tried.
But I think the annoyance of the hair below my ears would be a constant reminder of why I didn’t pass the ordination two years in a row. And maybe it’ll remind me to get out of my own way and let God lead me.
Or, maybe my wife will make me cut it off.
Either way, until I pass or until my wife makes me (and only my wife), I don’t think I’m going to cut my hair.