28th day of Lent
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge;
fools despise wisdom and instruction.
April Fool’s Day has been around longer than anyone can accurately tell. It may actually date back to Geoffrey Chaucer’s “The Canterbury Tales,” which was written in the late 14th century. A lot of people have devoted some serious time to classic April Fool’s pranks:
• In 1957, the BBC ran a story about the elimination of Spaghetti Weevils, allowing the Swiss to once again harvest the pasta from spaghetti trees. Hundreds of people called to find out how they could get their own spaghetti trees.
• Eight years later, they were back at it, this time with a piece about the invention of Smell-O-Vision, during which odors of onions and coffee were supposedly broadcast to viewers. And again, a number of viewers called to inform the BBC that the test had worked.
• Swedish TV in 1962 ran a broadcast about how viewers could get color on their sets if they placed a nylon stocking in front of it. An expert even explained the physics behind the technique. Thousands of people tried in vain to make it work.
• Netflix has become legendary for its April Fools pranks. Perhaps their most famous pranks were movies called, “Sizzling Bacon,” and “Rotisserie Chicken,” which consisted entirely of food cooking. (The chicken started fully cooked and during the 73 minutes, cooked in reverse until it was raw.)
• One of my personal favorites is Biola University math professor Matthew Weathers, who each year makes a new video to prank his class. His 2015 edition is elaborate and classic.
It’s fun to talk about fools for one day of the year, but the Bible has nothing kind to say about foolish people. Numerous verses detail God’s feelings about foolish people: Psalm 14:1 (The fool says in his heart, “There is no God”); Ecclesiastes 7:9 (Be not quick in your spirit to become angry, for anger lodges in the heart of fools) to Proverbs 1:7 (The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction); and many, many others.
In the Lord’s eyes, wisdom is to be prized, and foolishness ultimately leads to destruction. And because we are following Him, we should prize wisdom as well, and avoid foolishness at every turn.
Today, go ahead and have a little fun (but keep it safe and clean – remember you you’re representing!). But also pray, as Solomon did, for wisdom. Always be sure to chase after the wisdom of the Lord, and seek to make wise decisions that honor Him.
Reflection copyright © 2017 Doug DeBolt.
Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.