Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Playing the fool

There is a term in theatre and music that I want to borrow for my thoughts this morning.  It's an old term, but one rarely used as I will try here.  It's the term to "play the fool."  The dictionary defines it this way,  

play/act the fool-
1. to act in an irresponsible or foolish manner.
2. to behave in a playful or comical manner.

The fool is one who doesn't deal with truth or reality in a reasonable or rational way.  The idea of playing to fool is meant to describe someone acting silly, stupid when they aren't.  I find that term often describes me.  Let me explain.

There is a verse that I have often heard quoted in reference to a non-theist.  It's a verse we "use" to put them in their place and we are piously content to do so, but as I thought about it.....as I reflected...I realized this verse is really all about me!

Here it is,

The fool says in his heart,
    “There is no God.” Ps. 14:1

And suddenly I realized this verse is not about a non-theist, although it does describe their choices, it's about me too.  
Here's what I mean,

When I worry about something I 'play the fool' and act like there is no God so I have to take things into my own hands. Worry will fix it all, won't it?  But there is a God who says, "don't worry about anything" and when I worry I'm really saying, in my heart, THERE IS NO GOD! so I have to fix the problem myself!

When I get angry about something I 'play the fool' and act like there is no God who will give me justice so I have to correct the injustice, fix the problem myself.  Anger will fix it, won't it?  But there is a God who says, "don't be angry" and when I'm angry I'm really saying, in my heart, THERE IS NO GOD! I have to deal with this wrong myself!

I've played this scenario out in a hundred ways in my mind and it all comes down to this-  when I sin, when I choose to do things my own way, I 'play the fool' and say to the world around me there is no God.  If I don't fix it no one will.

This verse is a dagger in the heart of my godless religion.  It forces me to deal with my foolishness and live like there really is a god in heaven fully able to care for me, deal with my problems, answer my prayers and soothe my wounds.

Frankly, as a Christian, the last thing I want to do is be the fool and say to a watching world "There is no God!" by how I live and respond.  Either he's there or he isn't and if he is really there the wisest thing I can do is defer to him, trust his love, rely on his ability to care for me in everything.....or I can play the fool.

Vivid choice, don't you think?

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