This weekend will mark the beginning of the month of April and kids – and kids at heart – everywhere will enjoy some laughs as pranks and jokes commemorate April Fool’s Day. Though the origins of the holiday are unknown, it has become a world-wide phenomenon that even large corporations participate in.
While we hope you are able to pull off the perfect prank and avoid getting tricked yourself, we want to go into this month thinking about being a different kind of fool. Did you know that the Bible encourages some kinds of foolishness? In 1 Corinthians 4:9-10, Paul writes, “For I think that God has exhibited us apostles as last of all, like men sentenced to death, because we have become a spectacle to the world, to angels, and to men. We are fools for Christ’s sake, but you are wise in Christ. We are weak but you are strong. You are held in honor, but we in disrepute.” Sounds a little strange at first, right?
When Paul says that he and other apostles are fools for Christ, he isn’t talking about telling jokes and pulling pranks. Instead, he means that he acts in a way that seems strange or foolish to the rest of society, those who do not know Christ. Paul gave up worldly possessions – money, power, safety – to live his life for God and to encourage others to do the same.
Oftentimes, we find ourselves trying to blend in with the crowd rather than stand out. But we are called to be different. Are you willing to be labeled a “fool” for standing up for your beliefs? Are your convictions and your love for Christ so strong that you will not waver, no matter what the rest of the world thinks? If we’re honest, there are times when all of us have just gone with the crowd rather than what we know is right to avoid seeming foolish. Let’s challenge ourselves this month to not hold back, even if we get labeled April fools. Luke 9:24 says that “Whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it.” In other words, nothing should be worth more to us than Jesus, even our reputations. Though it may seem foolish or strange to those around us, living life for Christ is what will really matter in the end.
Checking texts, scrolling through Facebook, posting pictures, and typing emails are all part of our everyday lives – a big part. Think about how much time you spend on your phone, tablet, or computer each day. Thirty minutes? An hour? One report says that the average person spends about 90 minutes a day on their phone. Another says that number may be even higher, up to 4.7 hours a day. Even if we take the smaller statistic and add up those 90 minutes per day, it amounts to 23 days per year and almost 4 years of the average person’s life. We also check our phones an average of 85 times per day.
Most of us wouldn’t deny that we spend too much time on our phones. But we justify our constant typing, scrolling, and liking by saying that “it is just a part of life.” “That’s the way it is these days.” While it’s true, there is nothing inherently wrong with texting, emailing, and most social media sites, should that be our standard? Should we continue to spend hours upon hours on something just because there is nothing bad about it? While he probably didn’t know that it would apply to smart phones and iPads back in the day, Paul wrote a verse that is relevant to this very subject. 1 Corinthians 6:12 says “All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.” In other words, just because checking our phones isn’t sinful, it is not doing anything to help draw us or those around us closer to God. Our phones are not bad in themselves, but when we are controlled by the need to check our messages or see how many likes our posts have gotten, we are brought under their power – and we are more focused on that than on our walk with the Lord.
Set aside a day this week to put down your phones, close your laptops, and talk to the people around you, instead of those that pop up on your screens. For just one day, challenge your family to unplug and find something to do together, face to face. Explain to the kids that it is not a punishment, rather a way to talk and spend time together without the distractions of your emails or their snapchats. Spend time enjoying the people and places around you. At the end of the day, talk about what was hard about giving up the phone or computer, as well as what was beneficial. Build on those responses to come up with a plan to encourage the family to look up from their screens in the days, weeks, and months to come. It doesn’t have to be drastic, but a few simple changes can lead to a world of difference in the way your family members engage and interact with each other and with the world around them.
It always seems like spring break goes by a little faster than all the other weeks in the year. The kids love having the week off from school and we love being able to spend intentional time together as a family. Though the week is supposed to be a little break from learning for the kids, we can’t help but reflect upon and share a few of the things we learned over spring break.
We hope everyone enjoyed spring break. What lessons did you learn over the week?
As we head into spring, we look forward to the longer, warmer days ahead. Though we will probably wake up a little less rested this Sunday, the extra hour of sunlight that we enjoy in the spring and summer months is well worth it. One of the best ways to enjoy the warmer, longer days is to bring your workout outdoors – and bring the whole family with you too!
Working out outside has many benefits; it is a great way to explore new trails or hiking spots near your home and that Vitamin D helps your body absorb minerals, as well as aid in digestion. Oftentimes, games with the kids or an afternoon spend doing yard work as a family can serve as exercise you don’t even realize you’re getting! If you’re looking for some inspiration for how you can get active outdoors this week, here is a list of some of our favorite activities – just don’t forget the sun block and a water bottle!
Do you have a favorite outdoor family activity? Show us how your family gets exercise outside by posting a photo on twitter and tagging us! We can’t wait to see what everyone is doing with their extra hour of sunlight!
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