Devotion in Motion: A Bad Hair Day

16 Making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Ephesians 5:16 (NIV)

By Bro. John L. Cash, “Country Preacher Dad”

It doesn’t take too much to entertain us here out in the country. And by that standard we’ve had a lot of excitement here this week. Spencer came home from college for a visit and showed up with a new haircut. Parents are usually glad when their son takes the initiative to get a haircut. Unfortunately, Spencer’s new haircut was a mullet. (See exhibit A below.)


For those of you who have forgotten (or somehow slept through the 1980’s), the mullet is the mother-of-all-bad-hairstyles. When I began as a high school English teacher in 1989, it was still all the rage. Young men got their hair cut short like a regular haircut on top and let it grow long and stringy in the back. Sometimes they braided the back into a “rat tail”. Or they got their mothers to put a home perm in the back so they could have that carefree curly look.

It was usually described as the haircut that was “Business in the Front, With a Party in the Back.” Think of Billy Ray Cyrus singing “Achey Breaky Heart,” or David Spade in his epic motion picture “Joe Dirt.” Now go bleach your brain.

I did some research, and etymologists are not in agreement where this horrible hairdo got its name. In nature, a mullet is a very ugly fish, so some think this is the connection. Others point to the slang term “mullet-head,” which was used as a derisive form of address to people who are not very smart. I can see the possible connection there, too. I suspect it’s a combination of the two.

{Disclaimer: I realize that in poking fun at the mullet, I may be offending certain portions of my readership. As a man of the cloth, that is something I would never want to do. Please let me assure you that if you are a person wearing a mullet, or if you are a person who thinks that the mullet is a beautiful haircut, I am in no way laughing AT you. Instead, I am laughing NEAR you. I am laughing BESIDE you. I mullet-side.jpgam laughing in your GENERAL DIRECTION, but in no way am I laughing AT you. End of Disclaimer.}

To add insult to injury, the hairstylists at the salon where Spencer procured his mullet took pictures and posted them on Facebook. The photos took on a life of their own and soon went viral. (Here’s an unfortunate mullet side view on the right.) Before 12 hours had passed, they had circled the globe twice, and someone forwarded them on to me in an email. A good time was had by all.

As you can imagine, when Spencer arrived home, Susan and I sat down to ask him the burning question: “Why? Why in the world did you decide to cut your hair in a mullet?”

Surprisingly enough, Spencer gave a very intelligent and well-reasoned answer. He said, “I thought it would be fun to cut my hair in a mullet. I’m in college now, and pretty soon I’ll have a career. A man with a career can’t get a crazy hair style. So this is my one opportunity to be allowed to do this. When my one opportunity is gone, it will be too late.”

Now I have to tell you, that made an enormous amount of sense to me. And it is really the sort of thing the Bible teaches. In today’s Scripture lesson (at the top), St. Paul tells us to make “the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.” During each day, as you live amidst the evil of this world, you have opportunities to do good work that is pleasing to our Lord. You have to seize these opportunities and make good use of them as they come along–because tomorrow will be too late. St. Paul also seems to say that we if we don’t seize every opportunity to fill our lives and the lives of those around us with goodness, there’s a good chance we will fall into sin. Seize the day for righteousness  because, if you don’t, you’ll probably end up wasting the day or doing evil.

Dear mamas, ask the Lord to help you see the opportunities He brings to you each day. And then be busy about doing the things He shows you. You only have a short time before your babies are grown—and coming home with a mullet.

john1.jpgDr. John L. Cash is the “Country Preacher Dad.” He was raised in Stuttgart, Arkansas, and has spent the last 25 years being a country preacher in the piney woods five miles south of the little town of Hickory, Mississippi. (On week days he works at a public school.) He and his lovely wife, Susan, and his sons, Spencer (age 19) and Seth (age 16) live in the parsonage next door to the Antioch Christian Church (where Amanda the hairstylist didn’t charge Spencer extra when she cut off his mullet on Monday– because she said she had already cut the front. Below is a non-scary photo of Spencer before the mullet incident which shall be recorded in family history.) Brother John would love to hear from you in an email sent to