April Fools …
I am up early this morning, waiting for a friend to call so I can help him and his wife move into their new apartment, and for some reason my mind has stepped back about 20 years to fill my head with days past (along with the usual mix of oddities rolling around in there). From those thoughts and the occurrences of the past few days, I am stumbling upon a few collected ruminations that feel apropos for today’s holiday. If you’re just here for the pretty pictures, come back tomorrow …
For the past week or so, we have been continually/daily/hourly checking our online banking site, waiting for money to deposit, that in actuality was not supposed to be there until today, April 1st. Nevertheless, because of a lack of funds on our part, we have been sharing frustrations and misgivings with others, about how "dumb it is that we have to wait for this money" and how "it should have been there already" and how "this is so frustrating" and ... well you get the idea. Basically, it was us complaining for the sake of it ... almost to the point where it felt like we were saying ... "if only that money were here, we could have done this thing or had that fun time" or "if only we had some money, I would be in a better mood".
The joke? Because of having to pay for a few incidentals ($5 for gas, etc.) before the money was deposited, our account was overdrawn for two days and the resulting fees almost entirely nullify the money that it has now been deposited. What is it that John Candy says in Cool Runnings? "If you're not enough without it, then you'll never be enough with it."
This was a moment where we had the perfect opportunity to prove our resilience and demonstration our dependence on God and instead, at the first sign of rough waters, we threw the oars out of the boat and started drinking sea water. Were we lacking in anything we needed to survive? No. Were we demanding things beyond our reach and that frankly, based on the time, were undeserved? Yes. Was it really just us complaining as spoiled, belligerent children, who's selfish desires hid reality and God's blessings from them? Hurm.
Looking back (which is apparently where my mind was this morning) I can clearly see the moments that have occurred and the actions that I have taken to bring me to where I am today. And since I can see the good choices along with the bad, I also clearly see the April Fools joke. The decisions of my past, the words I have said, the sacrifices I have made in my integrity ... so many just for the sake of being accepted by others ... all of these culminated together, I can see the irony. I can understand what The Comedian was talking about in Watchmen; that we are all creatures of habit and despite our best efforts to mask and hide that fact, things still end badly and some of us don't want to be saved from that end.
I also see that each of us has been given a chance for redemption. Just like Saul, we are all walking that road to Damascus ... each of us with the opportunity for change. Despite our past actions, despite their consequences in this world (actions always have consequences!) and sometimes, despite our best efforts against it ... through Christ, we each are given the gift of reconciliation.
So the joke here is two-fold:
- You have the opportunity to be blinded, come to your senses and become someone of actual worth and value ... despite the irony that will, unfortunately, not be lost on an unbelieving world.
- You can continue in your faux-rebellion, disbelieve and determination toward the "inevitable" ... calling it independence ... but we will all know that it is just your inability to surrender, to release whatever you are grasping at because it gives you a sense of control or capability. Despite what movies say, "human nature" isn't inescapable or at least ... it doesn't have to be.
Hi. I was Saul, but now I am Paul.
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