In the fall of 1995, OU had a bad football team, the Murrah Building in downtown OKC was no more, and I was a senior at the University of Oklahoma. I majored in Journalism. Like any senior, one key class during your final year was your capstone: that magical concluding class to your degree program which was supposed to bridge you from college to the real world. I enrolled in my senior capstone in September, but had no idea what the course would be about.
On the first day of class, I walked into a computer filled classroom, a first for my time at OU. I sat down at a computer terminal and listened as Professor David Jaffe told us that we would be exploring the future of journalism. He insisted that in a few years, no one would be interested in just a newspaper or television anymore, but a new form of technology would be overtaking these as primary drivers in the journalism market. He even thought out loud that one day news magazines might cease to exist. I thought he was crazy. I thought he was over-hyping it. I though he was foolish. How could anything really replace newspapers and magazines? How could anything replace the 10 o’clock news or Nightline?
Of course, we know what the answer to that question is: the internet. We spent our entire capstone learning to write and design for the web. At the time it seemed foolish to me: I knew no one at that time who used the world wide web, and very few who even had an email address. Yet 13 years later, the internet has taken over the journalism world. Now every newspaper, television station, and magazine has a significant web presence where news can be gathered on demand at any time, without a subscription or any delay. Additionally any person with a web accessed computer can become a “journalist” via various blogs and message boards that report their angle on the news around us.
In 1995 I thought Professor Jaffe was foolish for making such statements about the internet. In reality, I just did not have all the information.
I tell you this story today, because in our Christian lives many times Christ is calling us to do things or rewarding us for doing things that those around us would deem as foolish.
· Noah is asked to build an ark.
· David goes out to fight Goliath with a stack of rocks and a slingshot.
· Jonah is asked to go share a message of repentance with the most wicked people on the planet.
· Daniel chooses to go to the Lion’s Den instead of ceasing to pray to His God.
· James and John leave their family business to follow Christ.
· Zacchaeus (a grown man) climbs a tree to catch a glimpse of Christ.
In all of these circumstances (and many more) God’s people acted in ways that their many of their friends would deem as foolish and God rewarded them for their “foolish” actions. Noah’s family was spared at the flood, David slew Goliath, Jonah led a revival in that foreign city, Daniel was able to write the song “The Lion Sleeps Tonight”, James and John became apostles, and Zacchaeus has dinner with Jesus AT HIS HOUSE! At one level these steps of faith seemed foolish to some, but with God’s perspective added in, they were celebrated moments in the life of a hero of the faith.
Think of your life for a moment. What is God calling you to do that some of your friends might deem as foolish? Give to a person in need or the church despite the struggling economy? Share the Gospel with a friend? Take a new job or search for a new job? Give up a destructive habit that makes you fit in with a set of friends? What is the foolish step that God is asking you to take?
Those around us who scoff at the faith steps God leads us too are not total fools, they just don’t have all the information!