Hair Buns & Forest Walks
I’m not sure who came up with the high hair bun, but they deserve an award.
Do you know the one? It’s when we pull all of our hair up to the very tip top of our head and tie it in a messy, sometimes gloriously wild hair knot. It’s incredibly effective in keeping the wayward stragglers off the face and if you do it just right, you can literally forget all about it.
That is until you go for a forest walk in the spring in Ontario.
Now if you’ve never done the high hair bun thing or you don’t live in Ontario - please hang in for a bit. I’m getting there.
See, high hair buns should come with a user’s manual and a cautionary note. Because forest walks are not high hair bun friendly.
This morning for example, with my hair perched extra high on top of my head, I set out for what I had hoped would be a peaceful time in nature. I look forward to the rustling trees, the birds singing in the background, and Sadie, my pup, sniffing and poking her way through the bush.
But today, today was different. Today, my high hair bun took on a life of its own.
Let’s just go ahead and call it HHB (High Hair Bun) from here, shall we?
Today my HHB switched teams. No longer was it team Nicole - super cute, very helpful head covering - no, today it was a critter catching mitt. Today it did not have my best interest at heart.
Every crawling creature living in the five foot eight range found a new home in my HHB.
Down below, I battled mosquitos and lower range spiders, but my bun rode like a princess at 5 foot 8 - collecting any critters in its path.
Spiders. Tics. Silkworms.
Of course, I didn’t know of its escapades until later when I looked myself in the mirror. And I kid you not, the resulting critter-be-gone-dance in my bathroom left me with a strained shoulder and a bald patch.
You’re wondering how is she going to tie this into any kind of Bible anything!?
Wait for it.
If you’re at all like me - you’ve probably spent time collecting things that aren’t awesome - even subconsciously. We do this, don't we? We can prepare for the obvious but sometimes the ripple effect of this world's mess crawls aboard.
It hitches a ride on us. And it leaves its mark.
Can I be so bold as to remind you that we can’t afford to be passive travellers here. We have to be aware of what we’re picking up along the way. We must be on guard for the stealthy and sinister hand me downs.
The shame we carry. The anxiety that tags along. The yucky stuff we let hitch a ride.
Or how about the external influences we let land? What we watch, read, and speak all matter.
They either grow us up and towards God and who He’s called us to be. Or they grow us down and away from Him.
We are called to be ready, to stand firm (1 Cor. 16:13). The enemy prowls around (1 Peter 5:8), and isn’t afraid to leave his mess on us (1 John 5:19).
But as Christians, we’re part of the winning team. We know how this ends. We win! We win because Jesus overcame death! He gives us Victory. He gives us Freedom!
No more tagalongs that harm us. No more brokenness or pain. No more injustice or hand me down stains from human hood. It all went to the grave with our Saviour.
And in the meantime, down here between two gardens - deep into our forest walk, let’s shake off all the leftover bits and pieces we may have picked up.
Go ahead, do the critter-be-gone-dance. Shake it off.
And then cover yourself with Him and His promises. It’s absolutely your best defence.