When I was young I used my mother's eyeliner to draw a goatee on my face. Why? Because my heroes- General Custer, Walker Texas Ranger, every character from scripturedom, and many others had facial hair. Even as a small child I made the connection that facial hair meant true manhood. As I grew I waited for a beard like a youngster waits for Santa. However, my beard proved to be less real than the legendary arctic-dwelling bearded philanthropist. My beard never came. My sideburns did (what a blessing), but no beard.
This summer I tried an experiment. I lived my facial fantasy through another. Yes, I convinced Bryan to grow a beard. At first it was exhilarating, but soon it was depressing. It didn't help that we live in a college town whose mascot is a lumberjack, the most stereotypically bearded icon of all time. My dream soon became a relentless nightmare.
Feeling down I began to ponder why God didn't give me a beard. Surely He must understand this longing of my heart....or chin. Then, in a revelatory moment, it dawned on me. I don't have a beard because I am supposed to be at BYU-I. Beards are banned at BYU-I (which is ironic since the school is the namesake of a great bearded leader). God knows that if I had the choice between a beard and BYU-I, I would probably choose the beard (Don't judge me). I suppose this is an application of 1 Corinthians 10:13 which says that God "will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able."
So now I sit here, stroking my stubbleless chin in a pensive fashion, feeling as if one of life's greatest mysteries has been unfolded to me. Though the seemingly endless opportunities provided by well groomed facial hair may not be mine, maybe, just maybe, there is something more for me because of it.
"I have a beard and I've never been happier." -Bryan Fleming.