Story of a Fool

“He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.”  — Jim Elliott


We are fools, pursuing this upward mobility. This American dream of prosperity and freedom and wealth? It’s just a dream, and it will always be just a dream.

The fools who die for love; they know something.

They know something that no college education could ever teach.

They know something that no money could ever buy.

Me? I will have my two-year-degree by the time I graduate high school, and my bachelor’s by the time I’m nineteen. I could go anywhere, be anything.

But I would be a fool.

I would be a fool not to die to this broken dream.

I would be a fool to define myself by this emptiness. What is education, what is it to have all the answers? What is it to gain the whole world?

An old woman serving the poor, a young man giving up his life, a runner turning his back on the race, a rich man becoming poor… this is a better dream. It’s a better dream because that’s what the God of the universe did.

The King of glory, born in a barn. The Lord of the universe, the friend of outcasts. The only One who is truly good, dying a criminal’s death.

Life is a paradox, and love is the supreme foolishness.

All of us, with success and nice clothes and intelligence and our opportunities, have nothing. We are fools, holding onto what we cannot keep and rejecting what we cannot lose.

What value is money, green pieces of paper? What value is success, an empty dream?

What is there of value except dying for something more than life?

Maybe the church, with all of it’s pretty stained glass and tithes and programs, is missing something. Is missing everything.

It’s the young man, who gave his life away in a Bolivian jungle, who has so much more than our churches can ever dream of.

He followed the Paradox.

He is no fool.


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