I’ve been feeling pretty foolish lately–pick a role–wrestling with my confidence and competence as a husband, dad, friend, pastor and teacher. But in writing that sentence, I’m not looking for your sympathy. As a matter of fact, I believe it’s the journey God would have me on at this stage in my life–painful and frustrating as it may be.
I’m better off the fool.
For my Easter message last Sunday at Blanchard Warrenville, I spent some time considering Jesus’ beautiful interaction with Cleopas and his companion on the road to Emmaus (Luke 24:13-35). Poor Cleopas could have felt the fool for not recognizing Jesus on their walk, but instead, after Jesus vanished from their table, Cleopas remembered how his heart burned as Jesus explained the Scriptures to them, prophesying His suffering unto death and His amazing resurrection victory three days later. Then, in the darkness of night, Cleopas and his companion hurried off to tell the story of their encounter with Jesus to the rest of the disciples huddled together in fear in Jerusalem. Fools on a burning mission.
Our readings from Blanchard’s Daily Scripture Reading Guide over the next several months come from I Corinthians. One of this week’s readings reminds me: “But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things–and the things that are not–to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before Him. It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God–that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. Therefore, as it is written: ‘Let him who boasts boast in the Lord.'” (I Cor. 1:27-31)
I’ve know my sister Beth lived like she believed Paul’s words. She’s another fool I’m proud to love–I’ve been missing her more lately. She passed away from filaria almost eight years ago as a Bible school prof in Indonesia. She found encouragement from Amy Carmichael’s poetry. One of her favorites was “Flame of God”…From prayer that asks that I may be Sheltered from winds that beat on Thee, From fearing when I should aspire, From faltering when I should climb higher From silken self, O Captain, free Thy soldier who would follow Thee. From subtle love of softening things, From easy choices, weakenings, (Not thus are spirits fortified, Not this way went the Crucified) From all that dims Thy Calvary O Lamb of God, deliver me. Give me the love that leads the way, The faith that nothing can dismay The hope no disappointments tire, The passion that will burn like fire; Let me not sink to be a clod; Make me Thy fuel, Flame of God.