Eugene Cho

to hair or not to hair

I returned from my sabbatical with some long facial hair action.  It looked nasty enough that couple of our church staff walked into my office for what they called “an intervention.”  They said I was setting a bad example for the men in our church…  In short, they were trying to sensitively say that I looked nasty.  I personally think I’m looking pretty manly, rugged, and Northwestish…if I may say so.

But the truth is I’m at a crossroads.  There’s no in between.  Either I’ll go completely clean or go long beard and grow out my hair really long as in my past couple pseudo Nazarite vow episodes.  And when I grow out my hair, it looks pretty scary.  I go grunge or alternative/indie like this:

What do you think?  What should I do?  Clean or rugged?

And for what it’s worth, it really doesn’t matter what the polls decide…Minhee will lay down the law soon and her wish is my command.  But I’m playing a little stubborn right now.

* And to my bald readers, nothing personal.  If I looked as great as you, I’d go bald too. 🙂

Filed under: family

28 Responses

  1. voks says:

    In Denmark it is very popular at the moment to be ‘bold’ – not all bold but with a very very short hair! I am thinking about this myself but I really like my hair a few centimeters :-))

    Michael, Denmark

  2. Tyler says:

    I’m “rugged” right now. Long hair, beard growing daily….

    I think we should hold out and go rugged because I’ve had many “interventions” the past few weeks too.

  3. Patrick says:

    rugged. all the way!

  4. Bryan says:

    That would be a great CD cover.

    Go long. go rugged. Literally. Be like Jesus.

  5. Phyllis says:

    since you are returning from the wild, i suggest you go clean. when you were in the wild, do as the wild does… now you are back to the city – go clean!

  6. LOL don’t go long- you look like Tom Cruise from Mission: Impossible 2 in that pic. How about medium length hair, and keep the facial hair, only trimmed?

    Lauren will give you a free consultation after church tomorrow if need be😉

    Then again I think the staffers may have been nutty on this one. You look presentable and put together in my opinion.

    -ian

  7. Jason says:

    Take it from the bald guy… go for rugged while you can! If you wait too long like I did, your beard will come in grey and it will look…well…old and faded. You can then be “bold” like the Danes when you’re my age.

  8. young c-m says:

    Admit it, you’re vain about your hair.😉

  9. Tell everyone you’re going to keep it forever. Then wait as the offers of payment climb steadily. By the time you shave it off in three months you might get a new car from grateful friends and family😉

  10. eugenecho says:

    all too funny.

    @jessie: if you hadn’t intervened, it might have been a string of male only commenters. like some sort of urban promise keepers gathering.

    @broken telegraph: dude, you and lauren are too pretty. you’re married to a professional stylist for goodness sake.

    @young c-m: my curly hair is the only thing i got going for me. this summer, i actually enjoyed not washing or tending to it too often. but do you know what happens to long curly hair in the humidity: you get keith green-ish hair.

    who cares about the financial mortgage crisis when there are more important things to tend to like whether i should hair or not hair.

  11. Wayne Park says:

    how in the world did Minhee allow it to go on for this long is my question.
    Either she’s tremendously patient or you’re remarkably persuasive.
    A little stash here and Ash is like “cut it off or I’ll get the garden shears”

  12. Peter Choi says:

    Keep it long and strong.

  13. Ben C says:

    It’s time to clean-up. Go GQ style. You’re not in college anymore. Presentation counts.

  14. Kris says:

    Get rid of it. It looks like you are trying to be college-ish and fadish and coolish when I’m sure you are way beyond that:) Sorry, just my opinion.

  15. sis says:

    I do not care if you have hair or none, as long as your heart doesn’t change and become rugged.

  16. Maren says:

    If your hair looks like Keith Green’s when its long, I say grow it out!!!

  17. Craig says:

    I am all for the Old Testament hair-to-blades ratio. It’ll make you that much more pomo-hip. How meta.

  18. Tom says:

    In my experience political and cultural and religious traditionalists who go with the current version of progressive externals make you want to go ‘hmmmmm…..’

    Political and religious progressives who go with the current version of traditional externals also make you want to go ‘hmmmm….’

    Still, I think the cross dressers and cross shavers have the most potential to get something useful and interesting done.

  19. Aaron says:

    If they tell you “Well, it will always grow back” its a lie. Trust me.

    Seriously though, I say go clean.

  20. Jordyne says:

    Nobody has said this yet, but I say MOHAWK it!

    not even kidding.

  21. amoslanka says:

    i’m down with beards. but thats me. hey, is that a godin archtop in that picture?

  22. Yonas says:

    The current picture: mid 20s Musician-ish

    The one on your blog banner: Late 30s Pastor-ish

    Disclaimer: One does not necessarily better than the other🙂

  23. Kevin King says:

    From one pastor to another… here is my suggestion. Devise a way to put together a sermon series that requires/encourages the “rugged” look. Then you can inform those who are attempting the intervention that you are illustrating the point of the sermon visually! huh? Sound good!?!?

  24. eugenecho says:

    @layne: nice. very nice.

  25. billigvoks says:

    In Denmark, everyon use hairwax, in short hair. In Denmark a lot off peopel use ID voks. But a lot are also “bold” as well. But… My opinion,,, go with hair…🙂

  26. billigvoks says:

    Keep the hair😀 best from Billigvoks Id Voks

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One Day’s Wages

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First day of our daughter's college years at this great school. We love you. We're so proud of you.We believe in you. Go Huskies. Go Dawgs. And also, beat Stanford this Friday. As I soaked in this breathtaking sunrise this morning above the clouds, I felt compelled to pray for so my places in America and around the world that are experiencing such pain, heartache, injustice, and violence. At times, it feels so overwhelming but in prayer, I was reminded of these words from John 16:33. As we keep striving, working, hoping, preaching, loving, truthtelling, reconciling, repenting, forgiving, dismantling, peacemaking, Kingdom building...may we fix our eyes on Christ: “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” - John 16:33 Grateful for a very full weekend of ministry and preaching in Toronto, Canada (GTA). Such a privilege to partner with @worldvisioncan @wvcollective to advocate for the most vulnerable around the world. God is so gracious. A true honor to meet and encourage local pastors, lecture at Tyndale University & Seminary (photo), and preach at Richmond Hills Community Church, Compass Point Bible Church, and New City Church. Thank you, Lord, that you use broken and imperfect people like me to speak of Your love. Today, Minhee and I dropped off our eldest child at her college. We have been thinking and praying about this day for many years. On some days, we hoped it would never come. On other days, we couldn't wait for it to come. On some days, we prayed for time to stop and other days, we prayed with anticipation. 
After an entire summer of laughing it off, it hit us...hard...this week. Seeing all of her stuff laid out on the basement floor was the catalyst to a load of emotions.

After unloading the car and taking her stuff to her new home for this year and mindful that she might never live with us again; helping sort out her stuff, saying hello to her roommates...I wasn't sure what to do or say.

A flood of thoughts rushed my mind.

Is she ready?
Have we done enough?
Have we taught her enough? 
What if this? What if that?

And so we shared what we have shared with her the moment she began to understand words: "Remember who you are. Remember WHO you belong to. Remember what you're about. God loves you so much. Please hold God's Word and His promises close and dear to your heart. We love you so much and we are so proud of you." And with that, we said goodbye. Even if she may not be thousands of miles away, this is a new chapter for her and even for us. I kept it composed. Her roommate was staring at me. I didn't want to be that father. I have street cred to uphold. Another final hug. 
And I came home.
And I wept.
Forget my street cred.
I miss her. I love her.
She will always be my little baby.

I'm no parenting guru. I just laughed as I wrote that line. No, I'm stumbling and bumbling along but I'd love to share an ephiphany I learned not that long ago. Coming to this realization was incredibly painful but simultaneously, liberating. To be honest, it was the ultimate game-changer in my understanding as a parent seeking after the heart of God.

While there are many methods, tools, philosophies, and biblical principles to parenting, there is – in my opinion – only one purpose or destination.

Our purpose as parents is to eventually…release them. Send forth. For His glory. Met a friend and fellow pastor who I haven't seen in over 20 years. In him, I saw a glimpse of my future. While only 10 years older, his kids are married and he's now a grandfather of 3. His love for his wife and family were so evident and his passion for the Gospel has not wavered. It was so good to see someone a bit older still passionately serving the Lord with such joy and faithfulness. Lord, help me to keep running the race for your Glory. Happy wife.
Happy life. - Eugenius 3:16

I still remember that time, many years ago, when Minhee was pregnant with our first child. She had left her family and friends in Korea just two years before. Her morning sickness was horrible and when she finally had an appetite, she craved her favorite Korean food from certain restaurants in her neighborhood in Seoul, Korea. I had no way of getting that food from those restaurants so I actually said, "How about a Whopper? Big Mac?" Sorry honey. Eat away. You deserve it.

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