May God Bless You with Foolishness

During Stuart’s sermon on Sunday, he shared a Four-fold blessing. One of those blessings said, “May God bless you with foolishness; enough foolishness to believe that you can make a difference in the world.”

This is the kind of foolishness I tend to equate with first-year teachers. You know the ones who believe that they will inspire their students, topple corrupt and unfair practices, and fight for their students’ education and well-being. In college I minored in secondary education. One of the classes I took for that minor focused on the ways that teachers and education were portrayed in the media. When it was all said and done there were two predominate stereotypes of teachers. The first was the teacher as apathetic and detached. They were completely disconnected and ignorant of the world and the students could easily outsmart them and take over the class. The second was the teacher as the superhero. We watched clips from Dead Poet’s Society, To Sir, With Love, Stand and Deliver, and many more. These are all wonderful movies, but probably not the most accurate representation of our futures as educators. Yet, the professor surprised us all one day by saying, “I know you all think I am going to tell you it is a waste of time to strive to be like these ‘superheroes’, but I will not. It is my honest hope that each and every one of you works to be a Mr. Keating, but I will tell you this; it is not going to be easy. It is not that these ‘superheroes’ are complete fantasy, because you can inspire children and you can affect change, it just takes longer than a 90 minute film suggests.” She was right of course. It would be much easier to be an average teacher, but fools who work hard and pour their hearts into their students might just make a difference.

This blessing of foolishness reminded me of Paul’s words to the Corinthians.

For the message about the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written,

‘I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and the discernment of the discerning I will thwart.’

Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, God decided, through the foolishness of our proclamation, to save those who believe. For Jews demand signs and Greeks desire wisdom, but we proclaim Christ crucified, a stumbling-block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those who are the called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For God’s foolishness is wiser than human wisdom, and God’s weakness is stronger than human strength.

Consider your own call, brothers and sisters: not many of you were wise by human standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, things that are not, to reduce to nothing things that are, so that no one might boast in the presence of God. He is the source of your life in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification and redemption, in order that, as it is written, ‘Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.’
— 1 Corinthians 1:18-31

I pray that I might remember to be a fool.