Friday, March 13, 2009

Friday the 13th!

"Superstition is to religion what astrology is to astronomy; the mad daughter of a wise mother." Voltaire

I am not superstitious. 

But I used to be. Superstition can become a way of life for those struggling to understand why the world works the way it does. That was certainly the case for me. There was no rhyme or reason to why things happened, so it was natural for me to think that maybe "if I behave in certain ways, then good things will happen."

Here are a few common superstitions. Recognize any?
  • Friday the thirteenth is an unlucky day
  • A rabbit's foot brings good luck
  • An apple a day keeps the doctor away
  • To find a four-leaf clover is to find good luck
  • If you walk under a ladder, you will have bad luck
  • If a black cat crosses your path you will have bad luck
  • To break a mirror will bring you seven years bad luck
  • To open an umbrella in the house is to bring bad luck
  • To find a horseshoe brings good luck
  • Step on a crack, break your mother's back
  • You can break a bad luck spell by turning seven times in a clockwise circle
  • Garlic protects from evil spirits and vampires
  • Our fate is written in the stars
  • At the end of a rainbow is a pot of gold
  • Clothes worn inside out will bring good luck
  • Wearing your birthstone will bring you good luck
  • If you blow out all of the candles on your birthday cake with the first breath you will get whatever you wish for
  • To have a wish come true using a wishbone, two people make a wish, then take hold of each end of the bone and pull it until it separates. The person with the longer end gets his or her wish
  • An itchy palm means money will come your way
Some superstitions are just silly. The pot of gold thing, we all know it's not true:-) But there is a side to superstitious thinking that can be dangerous. And that is having a "superstitious faith".

Superstition means "A belief that some action not logically related to a course of events influences it's outcome." In other words, "If I do X, then Y is likely to happen." 

If I do good things to others, then good things will happen to me (this is that idea of karma)
If I pray only for others, then God will see me as selfless and give me what I want.
If I become thinner, then I will be loved.
If I do everything 
right, then I will be accepted.

Do you see the trap in that kind of thinking? We give ourselves all the power - and pressure - when truthfully - God is the one with all the power. The only "if" involved in being God's, is "if" you will go to Him. He's not s
ome fickle being that doles out goodness and favor based on what you do or don't do. That's the idea of works that Paul talks about.

We can't "earn" God's favor - we already have it.
We can't "win" God's love - we already have it.
We can't "earn" God's acceptance - because we already have it.

We can't "do" anything to be more loved, more accepted or more favored than we already are. So it also stands to reason that we aren't going to lose those things by walking under a ladder or opening up an umbrella inside the house. Life isn't about good luck or bad luck. Yes, we all have bad days and good days, but they aren't because of what we do, it's just the way things are. I am so glad that God is in control, aren't you? That is not up to me to memorize a list of things or perform rituals to earn something I can't earn anyway.

So here is to a happy Friday the 13th! Have fun today:-)

Author of Becoming Beka: a five book series for teens.

1 comment:

Lizana Trestant said...

This is so eye-opening! I mean, I already knew this, and I have since I was, like, a baby, but it's so cool to see that some people think that they have to earn their way to heaven. And then when they find out the truth, it's... unexplainable.
Keep writing!
-Lizana Trestant