April Fool’s Day. I remember when, for me, this day was a pretty big event. I would catch my brother, Rick, in the shower and throw ice cold water on him and sometimes, yes, he did the same to me. My dad might fool me by making up some story of an elk out on the lawn, when nothing was really there at all…you know, stuff like that. Though we never did it, there was talk of Saran wrapping the toilet or putting salt on the seat…well, you get the picture.
When I think of all the ways we might fool someone else, the biggest April Fool’s joke of all is when we fool ourselves. You see, I trick myself all the time into thinking my life is about me, but when I read the scriptures, I get a different sense of life’s true purpose. The apostle Paul wrote to the church in Philippi:
5 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, 6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross (Philippians 2:5-8)
For me, this is the essence of what it means to live the Christian life. To profess Christianity but not have the mind of Christ is the ultimate betrayal of the one I would profess to follow as his disciple and so as I meditate on this passage, I am challenged to continually “empty [my]self” as he did, to [take] the form of a servant, and to [humble] [my]self by becoming obedient to the point of death.” How about you? What won’t you do to serve the ones you love? What won’t you give up to completely follow Jesus? Where in your relationship with God and others will you draw a line and say, “No, I won’t surrender, sacrifice, submit?”
The vulnerability that comes with complete surrender is what keeps us from bearing our cross daily. But he bore His. Let’s not be fooled. The abundant life comes from complete and total sacrifice. So run around with your whoopee cushion and your fake vomit or whatever today, but take some time and meditate on this scripture so that tomorrow, no one can say, “April Fools has come and past, but you’re the biggest fool at last.”