By Rachel Spencer
Oral anaesthetic in toothpaste, holes in a filled plastic water bottle, toothpaste replacing Oreo cream, winding someone's clock backwards or forwards several hours, switching clothing drawers up, and telling white lies to get a reaction are just a few tricks to watch out for on April Fool's Day.
Keen pranksters leap at the challenge of coming up with ingenious ways to fool loved ones and even strangers on a day when they really should have a heightened sense of awareness that a trick could be coming their way.
Hopefully all in good humour, these pranks may catch people out and embarrass them but do not hugely influence the careers, relationships, and direction of their lives.
If we do not see these tricks coming, it is not the end of the world and we can laugh it off. In contrast, there is one thing we cannot afford to be fooled by.
In Psalm chapter 14 verse 1, King David says bluntly, "The fool says in his heart, 'there is no God!'" and we are later warned in 1 Peter chapter 5 verse 8 to "Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil, who prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour."
Although these verses might shock or even offend some, to others it casts light on the fact that there is one who spends every day, seeking to lie, deceive and distract us from the truth about God.
We could spend our whole lives pursuing things that won't last or believing lies about ourselves and others, and to what avail?
“There is one who spends every day deceiving people”The Apostle Paul put it bluntly to Titus in a letter saying, "For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures...but when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Saviour appeared [through Jesus Christ], He saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy."
Similarly Paul wrote to the church at Galatians saying, "Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows", referring to the consequence of the decision to follow God or not.
Those, who choose to accept this gift of salvation, are acting wisely, for they will have their relationship with God restored and spend eternity in heaven.
Let's face it; eternity is a very long time. Unlike April Fool's Day pranks, it's not worth being caught out by the deception that we can earn our own way to heaven or the lie that God does not even exist.
Have you been fooled? The good news is it is not too late!