Ah, APRIL FOOLS' DAY! A day where lies and liars abound, where would-be "court jesters" let their proverbial "hair" down! A day of practical jokes and pranks that, hopefully, will be forgotten and forgiven when the 2nd of April makes its appearance!
A few weeks ago, three of our grandsons were spending a week with us, a time we truly enjoy. These boys know that their grand "POOHPA" is prone to practical jokes, April 1st or no! I decided that since the boys would not be with us on this special day for such, I would do an advance. Knowing their inbred proclivity to all things "deer hunting" and such, and because our yard is a favorite hangout for creatures of this nature, I went into the den, their hangout, which overlooks the backyard, and exclaimed excitedly, "boys, there's an 8-point buck behind the house!"
The scramble was on as they ran to the windows. "Where?" they exclaimed in unison.
"April Fool!" I cried.
"It's not even April!" they responded.
I told them, "I'm saving up for when you won't be here!"
What is the old adage? "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me." Well, I decided to push the envelope, thinking surely they would not take the bait. I waited a while, then went back and repeated the same excited information. "Boys, there's an 8-point buck in the backyard!" I expected a typical reaction of disbelief - "Oh, Poohpa!" But I didn't expect the repeat scramble to the windows again!
"Where?" they repeated.
You see, I didn't do the "hunter's math" that says, "keep your eyes open and don't miss a shot!"
I just hope I haven't ruined my future prospects of getting them to believe me the next time I spot something that's really there! That's the chance one takes when you don't play by APRIL FOOLS' RULES. I think there's another old tale of the boy who cried "wolf!" once too often! Enough said?
Now, I've said all of this to get to my point, so here it is, and it's not an April Fool's joke.
Most folks try their best not to appear FOOLISH, me included. We try to wear what will not make us the subject of ridicule. Our communications are so guarded that we won't be caught saying something that will be dismissed as ignorant, uninformed, or worse, crude and rude. We behave in a way that will not draw attention to our imperfections. We are careful to only go where our presence will not be held in question by those seeking to cast a shadow of doubt upon our character. We abide by the law so that our lives won't gather the reputation of being without conscience. To this litany of lifestyle detours of safety, we could add multiple others, all whose purpose is to protect our lives.
The WE and ME FOLKS I refer to? Obviously not the whole population at large! APRIL FOOLS' DAY notwithstanding, a large part of citizenry would like to believe that they are pursuing a lifestyle that is perceived as worthy of respect. Commendable and a worthy goal! I would that more would find this path the best to trod upon. For one very good reason, it would provide a grand example for the new generation that follows, to follow!
There is a problem, however, that lies within everyone, good folks, good ole' boys, as well as, those not so good! It is the problem of sin, and a heart that is not so good, as the prophet Jeremiah points out in 17:9: "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?" We'd like to believe that we know our own heart, but I suspect we even fool ourselves at this point. In fact, I'm sure we do, or we would not believe ourselves to be so "holier" than the other person most of the time. No, there is One Who truly knows our heart, and He is the same one Who can fix it! No fooling!
David knew Him and wrote this Psalm of desire to have his own heart fixed: "Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts; And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting." (Psalm 139:23-24)
So friends, when this day of light-hearted trickery has drawn its last breath, and the new day of heart pursuits faces the new dawn, take the Psalmist's lead and have He Whose heart never tricks nor fools, but guides you into all of His truth which will set you free, free indeed! (John 8:32; 36; 14:16-17)