As Paul’s words from 1 Corinthians 3 reminded me yesterday that I am nothing, a nobody without God, he reminds me today that if I want to be wise, I have to become a fool for “if anyone among you considers himself wise in this age, let him become a fool, so as to become wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in the eyes of God.” He also tells us “The Lord knows the thoughts of the wise, that they are vain.”
I wonder how often I thought I made wise worldly decisions only to find out how foolish my choice was. For example, I wanted to be rich when I was young. Having a lot of money would make me someone special, so at least I vainly thought. I found a company that sold me on being rich. I worked to get an insurance license, securities licenses and a real estate license. I made very little money in fact I may have spent more time and money preparing for the job than working at the job. That was pretty foolish on my part because I really had no passion for the work but only for the money. But in a sense, I am wiser today because of my foolishness.
St. Peter in the Gospel today from Luke 5:1-11, was out with his crew fishing all night and had caught nothing. Jesus had boarded his boat to teach the people and then told Peter to put out to deep water and lower the nets for a catch. As I stop here, I ponder a little about what was foolish and wise concerning Peter. FOOLISH – Peter, probably in a winey voice like I use when I think someone is a little crazy reminds the Lord that they have already been in deep water and failed. WISE – Peter does tell Jesus, “but at your command, I will lower the nets.”
Simply, doing what we think on our own is foolish and doing what God says is wise. They caught so many fish, their nets were tearing, their boat was in danger of sinking and they needed help from their partners in another boat. Here, I think comes the greatest wisdom of all. Peter says, “Depart from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man.” To realize a lack of faith in the Lord and humbly repent before God is tremendous wisdom. God is so merciful and His famous words to Peter shows how much He loves us when He said, “Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching men.” I am living proof, hook, line and sinker.