Redeeming the Educated Fool

Clean Tuesday of First Week of Great Lent

“Cuz you can go to your college and you can go to your school. If you ain’t got Jesus you’re just an educated fool and that’s all.”

Denomination Blues by the 77’s

I love spiritual memoirs. Seems like I am always finishing one right before the start of Great Lent. This year is no exception as I polished off Eric Metaxas‘ very witty and inspiring story of his coming to Jesus called A Fish Out of Water. There is so much in this book I identify with. A son of two immigrants from the vastly different countries of Germany and Greece, Eric always had difficulty fitting in wherever he went. As an intellectual phenom, he was promoted a grade early on which added to his awkwardness since he was almost always the youngest in his age group. After he achieved his dream of graduating from Yale, he hunted about searching for life’s deeper purpose waiting to be “discovered” for the brilliant person he thought himself to be. In the end, a coworker from a dead end corporate job introduces him to Jesus and the idea that God is not just some remote being but a Person interested in having a relationship with him.

Eric is like me in reverse. He grew up in the Greek Orthodox Church and became an Evangelical Christian who has great respect for the Orthodox Church and has “never formally left it.” I grew up as an Evangelical Christian who eventually became Orthodox. What I like especially about this book is his humorous characterizations of the people who grew up with. At times, he even strikes a repentant chord like St. Augustine’s Confessions when he not only remembers someone but remembers the ways he wronged them or wishes that he would have dealt with them differently.

Now as we all begin the journey of Great Lent, may we learn this quality of self-introspection which is the opposite of the pharisee in the famous parable. Let us move like Eric from the mode of waiting to be discovered to the mode of discovering our true self by meeting the Lord and asking Him to “see if there be any wicked way in me. Cleanse me from every sin and set me free.”

Please forgive and pray for me a sinner, and may our good God have mercy on us and forgive us all. Veliki Post! Kali Tessarakosti! Blessed Lenten journey to you all!

2 thoughts on “Redeeming the Educated Fool

  1. Dear Deacon Aaron,

    My grandfather, may God rest his Soul, often too would say to us and others: “D—m educated fools!” about politicians and some pompous (as he thought) intellectuals during nightly news hour…

    Gosh, I wish now with all my heart I reacted and dealt differently with hurtful people and events in my life instead of submitting to pious proclamations about “forgive and forget”. Forgiving is needed but in our humanity do we or can we always completely forget these things? I confess I still struggle mightily with this. Wounds (deep ones) I feel are not healed by covering up instead of dealing directly with them if possible. Somehow they often reopen hurtfully in later life.

    I enjoyed this article nevertheless. Very timely during holy Great Lent. Thank you.

    With love in Christ, Nicholas Ron

    Sent with [ProtonMail]( Secure Email.

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