Barbershop Theology: Waiting for…


Barber Shop Theology

The LORD is my shepherd, I lack nothing. ~ Psalm23:1


“Hurry up and Wait”


I have an advantage over the others; I have learned the value of waiting. No, I have not perfected waiting, I just know there is an art to it. As a barber’s son and retired shoeshine boy, I have logged many hours just watching people wait. Some are better than others.

“Back in my day,” a phrase I am growing more and more fond of, life moved more slowly. We didn’t have instant anything. The closest thing to space age was Tang and Jiffy Pop. Those two items still amaze me.

Jiffy Pop, space age magic!

I went to my local barber shop a few days ago. I was in a hurry. I don’t remember why, but there was surely an important reason for my rush.  The shop was busy, very busy. Darn. Oh well, I have my Blackberry and I can keep up the hurried pace. But something in my barber’s son DNA kicked in; I put my gadget away and decided to wait. It was everything I remembered it to be.

Finding the Shepherd’s Flock

Dallas Willard offers this advice for the person who would “Find the Flock”, i.e. know the peace of green pastures. You must, “Ruthlessly eliminate the hurry from your life… hurry is the great enemy of spiritual life in our day, and it is different even from being busy.”  Willard says that hurry is “disease of the soul” and that it makes you unable to live in the presence of God, unable to wait for Him, and unable to hear His voice.

If the evil one can’t separate you from God through sin, then hurry will do.  Who earned this day?  Which of you merited the fresh breath of a new morning? What shall it profit a man if he should gain the whole world (even if he hurries) and lose his soul. Mark 8:36

to be continued . . .

A Tribute

Here’s to all those guys who waited in Dad’s barber shop. TO YOU, oh Farmer whose wife is buying groceries and cackling around town; TO YOU oh Loafer who taught me the meaning of loitering and remain my existential hero; TO YOU Blue Collar Workman who found respite and comfort; TO YOU Regular Guy who found the barbershop to be a happy medium between a beer-joint and Baptist church; TO YOU Mr. B.S. who told your whoppers and enjoyed them most of all; TO YOU Guy Who Told Mr. B.S. that he was full of it; TO YOU, the men who climbed into my shoe shine chair and gave me the privilege of earning a quarter. To each person who enjoyed the wait, I salute you.



2 thoughts on “Barbershop Theology: Waiting for…”

  1. To my nephew Dallas,
    Just wanted to say Lois and I have really enjoyed The Barber Shop Theology. I for one hate waiting( in traffic,e in the check out line, at the Dr. office mostly the Dr. office). Waiting at the barber shop for Oscar to hurry up and get done so we could hurry up go to your house and play. God has truly taught me a lesson in hurry up and wait. The Dr. takes longer, the check out line always has a problem, and there is always a stalled car in my lane. Now I have time in the car to talk to God or listen to my WOW music or Joyce Meyers CD (love her) . Now I hurry up and leave early so I can take time to listen.

  2. I like this topic, when you spend 20 years in doctor offices and at the hospital like i have, waiting sort of becomes second nature and just part of life, so it’s neat to hear the positives & special things about it. I love Dallas Willard’s words, have heard a lot about him from my favorite author, his friend James Bryan Smith. Those guys are so great, really wise. But fully aware of being flawed, those cool things. Looking forward to more. 🙂

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