I fooled my fitbit yesterday! I’ve never tricked a piece of technology before. Makes me feel youthful and smug!
It happened this way: I got home around 3 with lots of sunshine and great weather. Gale got the riding lawnmower out of the shed and took me through the annual remedial lesson on how to make it go.
I took off in sleepy turtle speed and never figured out how to go faster. But that’s ok. If riding mowers have springs, this mower doesn’t know about them. It isn’t cutting anything if the driver isn’t being jarred loose from preconceived ideas. I bounced and lurched through mowing the side yard and back acre. I’m happy to say I didn’t nick tree bark, blow clippings into the garden or fall off the mower.
The mowing took a couple of hours and when I went inside I discovered all that bouncing around made my fitbit think I was walking! I registered 13,750 steps for a day I spent mostly sitting down. This improves my stats with the daughter-in-law who challenged me in fitbit land to see which of us could log the most steps.
There is something gleeful about successful foolery – even when it is unintended! It feels cool to sound smarter than we are or appear to be harder workers than we are. And, to tell the truth, most of us probably like the appearance of exercising much more than we like actually exercising.
All of the trickery and cleverness in the world, however, doesn’t fool God. The health of my body is no secret to the Holy One regardless of how many steps my fitbit counted. Cleverness may conceal poorly done work from others and a smiling bit of donation may cloak us with the appearance of generosity but these things don’t hide our stingy self-centeredness or our lack of hard work from God even one little bit.
The danger of trickery is that we may actually fool ourselves into thinking we are more (or better, stronger, smarter, healthier, kinder) than we are. There is no harder work than the work of self-reflection and the exercise of honest repentance in the face of our personal truths.
Rev. Marcia Hagee
She graduated from Duke University and the University of Missouri-Columbia studying Psychology and Religion. She earned her M. Div at Phillips Theological Seminary and was ordained by the Oklahoma Region of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).