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"Holy, Foolish Errand" 3rd Sunday After Pentecost - June 18, 2023

Updated: Jun 26, 2023

I learned that a friend of mine was attacked by a shark last week.

It took out his whole left side.

I couldn’t believe it when he told me he was ALL RIGHT.

I’m so terrified to ask my wife to clean up after making breakfast…

I’ve been walking on eggshells all day.

Speaking of my wife…she accused me of stealing her thesaurus.

Not only was I shocked, I was appalled, aghast, and dismayed.

My kids asked me if I’d seen the dog bowl.

I said I didn’t even know he could.

Our dog ate a whole bag of scrabble tiles.

So, I took him to the vet.

No word yet.

Just some “Dad jokes” for Father’s Day. Right? Love me some dad jokes. My favorite part of dad jokes are the look of utter exasperation on my children’s faces and the eye roll I receive from my wife. And there is even this deeper sense of satisfaction, if not…profound sense of meaning when I can do these jokes in front of their friends…and embarrass them.

And guess what?? It turns out…there is something healthy and psychologically beneficial about dad jokes. According to a study published in March by the British Psychological Society these jokes have the capacity to make us better humans by offering two benefits…

First, kids exposed to “eye-rolling humor” get a certain part of their developing brain triggered, which helps build immunity to judgment of themselves and others.

Second, because the father (or whichever parent is the teller of said jokes) is willing to embarrass themselves repeatedly with such awkward humor, it develops a resiliency in children and a kind of bravery.

Isn’t that great! Talk about a relief. For the past 15 years of being a parent I’ve put so much pressure on myself. I’ve read books. I’ve talked to older, wiser friends. I’ve spent an untold amount of time in therapy. I’ve self-examined. I’ve analyzed. I’ve apologized profusely. I’ve tried so hard…And it turns out. One of the best things I can do for my children…is be a fool. Just be a fool. If I’d only known.

Of course…other people have known about this….about being “the fool.”

What was it that Shakespeare said?? “The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool.”

“The wisest of all, in my opinion,” Dostoevsky wrote, “is he who can, if only once a month, call himself a fool…” And in many of his works, the Russian novelist had a fool articulating wisdom or the principal atheist speaking a theological truth.

One of Carl Jung’s archetypes is the joker, the trickster, or the fool. According to Jung, many times – in myth and literature as in life – before becoming the sage, you are first the fool. The path