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,
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?