March 20, 2020by Reverend Dan on March 20, 2020
“For the foolishness of God is wiser than man’s wisdom.”
If you want to see something impressive . . . you should see the planning calendar I laid out for Holy Season this year. Dates, times, sermon topics, music, alternate ideas . . . I was ready for anything that came along. Except for what actually came along.
Doggonit . . . every time I think I’ve gotten ahead of the curve and have picked up an IQ point or two, the bottom drops out and I’m reminded of today’s scripture. You’d think after sixty years I’d have figured that out, but nooooooooooooo, every once in a while, God has to remind me that what seems wise to me . . . well, without His input, it’s foolishness.
There are a number of passages that Solomon, the wisest man who ever lived, wrote that say the same thing.
Prov. 3:7 – “Do not try to be wise in your own eyes”
Prov. 14:12 – “There is a way that seems right to a man but in the end, it leads to death.”
Prov. 18:2 – “A fool has no delight in understanding, but in expressing his own heart.”
Sometimes life gives us lessons that are hard to swallow. Lessons that come from the times we think we’re smart. And yet once things happen, we realize that the ideas were ill advised. I guess stupid would be a better word.
I remember once I saw a teenager at church on a Wednesday night, sitting all alone in the corner, looking miserable. My first thought was, “Uh, oh . . . either school trouble or girl trouble”, so I sauntered over to give him some pastoral wisdom.
I walked up and asked if I could sit down, and he said, “Sure”, but he never lifted his head up. She must have broken his heart good or he really bombed on the test. So, I asked him, “What’s up? Why are you looking so down?” (Get the little play on words? Up . . . down. Brilliant.)
And I’ll never forget his response and the lesson I learned from it.
He looked up at me and said, “Rev. Dan . . . is your dad still alive?” Wow, that caught me off guard. So, already I’m feeling foolish. In thinking I was smart enough to already know what was wrong before I even asked, his answer caught me off guard. And so, I wasn’t sure what to say. Didn’t help him a bit. I put that in the memory bank – don’t look stupid by thinking you’re smart enough to read people’s minds.
Finally, I got myself together and got all serious and ready to counsel him on not having a father. After all, that must have been what it was about – he was missing his father. So, I said, “Yea, I’m still lucky to have him around.” And he said, and I’ll never forget it, “Well, if he ever gets mad at you and asks, ‘Do I look stupid to you?’ . . . don’t answer him.”
Didn’t see that one coming either. I was torn between how pitiful he looked . . . how stupid I must have looked . . . and how bad I wanted to laugh. He glanced up at me over his glasses, and then a big smile broke across his face, and we both laughed.
That old saying, “man plans, God laughs”? It’s true. I know for a fact God cracks up every time I think I’m so smart and have everything all figured out. I’m just glad I have a Father in heaven who is smart enough – and loves me enough – to accept me in all my foolishness and love me anyway.
“Father, Thank you for loving us in all our foolishness. In Jesus’ name, AMEN.”