As a child whenever I envisioned the older, ideal version of myself I always just assumed I would have glorious facial hair.
Nothing outlandish – not a Duck Dynasty type of growth. Just a full, even beard stretching from ear to ear.
Of course it didn’t work out that way.
Sure, I can grow a beard. And I like the way it looks. I even get a lot of compliments on it.
But it’s not the beard I always wanted. It takes longer to grow than I wish it would. It’s not really the color I want it to be. It doesn’t have the fullness I always hoped for.
And I think if you asked most men, they would say they’re unsatisfied with their facial growth.
Just about every man tries to grow a beard at some point in their life. Whether out of rebellion, laziness, or just curiosity, we all have our beard phases.
Rare is the man who can grow the beard he always dreamed of – the ones of lumberjacks dressed in flannel, baseball and hockey stars entering the playoffs, the symmetrical stubble of movie stars.
We attach manliness to facial hair. A guy that can grow a good beard is automatically deemed more manly than one with patchy protrusions on the face.
If you think about it, the importance of a healthy mustache is pretty darn silly. After all, facial hair is an attribute that no man can really control.
You’re either born with good facial hair or you’re not. There are deadbeats out there with epic beards. And there are heroic men whose faces are as smooth as a baby.
Yet the quality a of a man’s beard is something every man will worry about in their life. He will either envy another man’s beard. Or he will find his ego artificially inflated because of the facial follicles he did nothing but inherit.
If we don’t have the facial hair we want, we may try different things to force it. We look up articles on how to grow a better beard. We try rubbing some cream on our faces. We grow jealous of the men who have what we want. We figure there must be some way to achieve this unattainable goal.
Reminds me of how we approach our relationship with God.
Even though we know there’s nothing we can do to earn His love, we still work like we’re trying to win God’s favor. Instead of just believing He loves us as much as possible, we think if we do just the right thing we’ll move to some upper echelon of His blessings.
But God’s love is like facial hair. It’s something you’re just given. You don’t do anything to earn it or deserve it.
In reality some people are just born with better beards in their blood. Everyone looks different. We’re not all meant to have the greatest goatee.
In the same way, people’s lives just wind up differently than others. It’s not a sign God loves them any more or any less. It’s not a sign God loves them any differently. It’s not a sign these people did something better to earn God’s love.
The love God offers is unwarranted, unearned, and unmatched. We do nothing to control it or contribute to it. It’s there in equal amounts for all of us to cling to. Let it grow on you.
What your beard says about you is that you are unique and special and individual. If God didn’t make you to grow facial hair then stop worrying about it.
The mustache does not make the man. Instead, the decision to stop worrying about what we see in the mirror and give our lives over to sacrificial love is the manliest action of all.
When a resolute young fellow steps up to the great bully, the world, and takes him boldly by the beard, he is often surprised to find it comes off in his hand, and that it was only tied on to scare away the timid adventurers. – Ralph Waldo Emerson