Fooling Myself

“One of the elders said: Either fly as far as you can from men, or else, laughing at the world and the men who are in it, make yourself a fool in many things.” — from Wisdom of the Desert by Thomas Merton

This passage struck me from this morning’s prayer. How much energy do I put into not being a fool? To what extent do I long to have it all together, to be competent, to be successful, to stay on top of it all?

And how often does God say to me, smiling, in prayer, “So, how’s that working for you?” When I make plans, God laughs.

Okay, so I need to lighten up. My worries, my tendency lately to be dour and overly serious, my preoccupation with my own limitations, are all refusals to accept God’s grace and go it on my own.

“So, how’s that working for you?

Either way, I end up a fool. So I might as well get a hearty laugh at myself and the game even as I play it.

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