The dictionary defines a “tool” as a device for accomplishing a task or a means to an end. The slang dictionary, generally described as a reference of words in common, but not formal, usage, however, defines a “tool” as a fool, a loser, and much worse. Simply put, there is a hug difference between the use of the word “tool” in ” The saw is a tool for cutting” as opposed to ” He is such a tool.” I will argue that the formal definition of a word is the more fixed, stable, and accepted definition of a word which reflects a word’s original and most basic meaning and the slang definition of that same word will illustrate the more adaptive, faddish, street definition of a word which reflects society’s bias, temperament, and socially accepted patterns.
The Biblical basis of being a “fool for Christ” comes from St. Paul in 1 Corinthians, and St. Francis was the quintessential fool for Christ in giving up great wealth and prestige in search of simplicity, humility, poverty, and service. If our salvation depends on our ability to be a fool for Christ, it also depends on the similar ability to be a tool for God. Ironically, the beautiful Prayer of St. Francis speaks of being “an instrument” of God’s peace. Is not an instrument a tool of some kind, often for producing music?
Salvation, then, depends on how well, how enthusiastically, how devotedly, how consistently, and how sincerely we can be tools serving God’s purpose and fools serving Christ’s example. The only productive meaning of our lives should come from serving God’s Will using our God-given talents with such passion, such zeal, and such abandon to that Will that we remain oblivious to the superficial, temporal, useless measures and evaluations of this shallow world. This world tells us that it is uncool to be a fool, a tool; let us proclaim, in word and deed, that being a fool for Christ who hungers for opportunities to be a tool for God is the life purpose most nobly lived.
Copyright 2012 Gabriel Garnica