Act­ing like a fool is a full-time oc­cu­pa­tion

Record Observer - - Religion -

My pa­ter­nal grand­fa­ther’s fa­vorite holiday was April 1. He would spend months putting to­gether some trick to fool ei­ther a fam­ily mem­ber or a friend. Both were as­sess­able to his “tricks.”

He could read a per­son and within a few mo­ments have an idea of what the best trick to play on that per­son. No­body re­ally saw it com­ing. They knew his rep­u­ta­tion, of course, but he was so skill­ful in his acts of fool­ery that no­body ever guessed they were a tar­get un­til was too late.

One thing I learned from my grand­fa­ther is that it is al­most im­pos­si­ble to fool the Fool-Mas­ter. If he had spent as much time be­ing a grand­fa­ther as be­ing a rep­utable Fool-Mas­ter, he would have been the great­est grand­fa­ther in the world. His pri­or­i­ties, how­ever, were not in that di­rec­tion.

One thing my grand­fa­ther never did was re­veal how he could pull off these tricks on peo­ple. At times he came close but that was his se­cret he took to his grave.

Those who tried to pull a trick on him usu­ally have it back­fire and turned out to be a Ma­jor-Fool. I know my cousins and I spent hours try­ing to fig­ure out a fool­proof plan to pull on our grand­fa­ther. The prob­lem was, he died be­fore we could fi­nally put to­gether any­thing that would come close.

Think­ing about that re­cently, I was pon­der­ing the idea that it re­ally takes a lot of time to be a fool. In fact, some peo­ple make it a full­time job.

With my grand­fa­ther, act­ing a fool was just a hobby. He could turn it on and he could turn it off and got a lot of fun out of pulling tricks on peo­ple who were not ex­pect­ing such a trick from such a man. Other peo­ple carry this kind of fool­ery into ev­ery as­pect of their life with­out even try­ing. They just sim­ply are fools in ev­ery­thing they do. Now, I am not sure, does this comes nat­u­rally or do they have to work at it.

There are times when a per­son needs to be se­ri­ous and then there are times when a lit­tle dab of fool­ery will do you. To be se­ri­ous all the time can lead, ac­cord­ing to my grand­fa­ther, to a se­ri­ous ner­vous break­down. Who in the world wants that!

I must con­fess I am not my grand­fa­ther, al­though there have been times in which I yearn to be. His great ac­com­plish­ment in life was to make fools out of peo­ple who thought they were smart and up­pity.

I wish I knew how to do that!

I, on the other hand, need to work very hard at not be­ing a fool. Be­lieve me, it is a full-time job. It is so easy to be a fool. At least from my per­spec­tive.

I can­not tell you how many times the Gra­cious Mistress of the Par­son­age has looked at me and said rather sternly, “Are you act­ing like a fool?”

Al­though we have been mar­ried for years, she has not re­ally con­cluded that I can­not act. I am what I am, I am what you see, no thes­pian arts about it. I wish I was act­ing a fool, be­cause then I could stop act­ing and be­come a nor­mal per­son, what­ever that is.

When I feel down on my­self in this area, I think of many of the fools in the world around us. And we all know who we are.

I think the big­gest fools in my book are those who are afraid of words. Words seem to up­set and un­nerve caus­ing them to go into some kind of psy­chotic spin. I do not un­der­stand be­cause a word is sim­ply a word.

There are three letters in the English al­pha­bet that brings more ag­i­ta­tion and ha­tred than any other letters. Just three words.

The three letters are D O G. Of course, when you see those letters you im­me­di­ately think of one of your fa­vorite lit­tle an­i­mals. A dog is a friendly kind of a thing. When some­body sees these three letters, they usu­ally smile. How­ever, they are just three letters in the English al­pha­bet. Noth­ing more than that.

Or­ga­nize these letters and many peo­ple will go bizarre. For ex­am­ple, if we ar­range the letters G O D, peo­ple will go crazy. They are afraid of these three letters so ar­ranged.

These same letters make up the word dog. Yet if you re­verse those letters and make it spell God, peo­ple get all ag­i­tated and up­set and want to put a ban on those letters.

Usu­ally, the ones who are the most up­set about these three letters so ar­ranged are some of the highly ed­u­cated peo­ple in our coun­try. I sim­ply do not get it. If they are so ed­u­cated and so­phis­ti­cated, why do three letters in the English al­pha­bet frighten them?

I find it a lit­tle strange that the peo­ple who do not be­lieve in God, are the ones most ag­i­tated by the letters G O D. If they do not be­lieve in God, what are they afraid of? If, in their so­phis­ti­cated opinion, God does not ex­ist, then why are they afraid of three letters in the English al­pha­bet?

David put this in the proper per­spec­tive. “The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are cor­rupt, they have done abom­inable works, there is none that doeth good” ( Psalms 14:1).

Happy holiday to those who qual­ify.

The Rev. James L. Sny­der is pas­tor of the Fam­ily of God Fel­low­ship in Sil­ver Springs Shores. Call him at 352687-4240 or email jamess­ny­ The church web­site is www.whatafel­low­

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