The history of April Fool’s Day is debatable; the practice is not. People enjoy playing harmless jokes and pranks to catch someone in a hoax and then shout: “April Fools.”
Jesus told the story of a Rich Fool to teach us that possessions leave us empty-handed on the last day of our life. When we read the story, we find easy ways to defer the lesson as someone else’s problem.
But is it?
Maybe a contemporized retelling would help:
So a man had a good year and didn’t know what to do with his earnings. Finally he decided to sell his modest house and buy a bigger house as an “investment.” The big house needed new furniture and the three-bay garage needed a sports car and a recreational vehicle. He bought them because he could and enjoyed telling people what he did. His year was so successful he decided to retire early and take cruises and have parties and let life give him what he deserved for working so hard.
But God called him a fool because he prepared well to live what his culture called good, and ignored what God called good. All that he gathered wasn’t enough to get him to God. (adapted from Luke 12:15-21)
While we know that possessions and houses aren’t the problem, we all must review our hold on them to make sure they don’t make fools of us in God’s eyes.
I remember early in my marriage and the new adventure of finding the right place to live and trying to furnish a house within our budget, I decided to live grateful. More than once, I walked through my “new” home, touched items that gave me pleasure but were, in the end, creature comforts. I expressed my gratitude to God but voiced the accountability I wanted. So I said to God with all the honesty I could, you can take this away in a fire or some other disaster because this isn’t what I live for. Possessions are gifts,but do not make a life.
We are to be “rich toward God.” It is a Lenten call like no other. Maybe we need a line-item on our investment sheets to calculate what God values, just to be sure we don’t give more value to the wrong things.
We are called to live a life not plagued by things that rust and break. We live with them, but not for them.
We are called to live a life that makes others want to know more about why we live the way we do than where we work and how we got there.
We are not called to be fools, caught in any hoax about what God has made clear.
So on this day of foolish fun, take a moment to make sure you know how your priorities line up with what God calls important and eternal. Make sure that your investment sheet in God’s eyes isn’t foolish.
God doesn’t need your things; He wants YOU!