Superstitions and Faith

I enjoy few things more than baseball. I know, it’s not as fast paced as golf or lawn bowling. But I enjoy this delicate game of cat and mouse. The tension of a ninth inning full count with bases loaded. I enjoy watching the players with their odd quirks and rituals, their eccentricities and superstitions. Take Wade Boggs, for instance. As a Boston Red Sox third baseman, Wade attributed his stunning success to eating chicken before each game. “I had pork chops before one game,” he said, “I went 0 for 4, had two errors, and got hit in the elbow…the chicken does pay off.” Wade didn’t stop with chicken though. He took exactly 150 groundballs during infield practice. He always took batting practice and wind sprinting at the same time of day (5:17 and 7:17, respectively), left his house at the same time on game days and drew the Hebrew word for “life” in the dirt before coming to bat.

Then there’s Turk Wendell who wore No. 99, signed a three-year contract for $9,999,999.99 and chewed four pieces of black licorice whenever he pitched. At the end of each inning, he’d spit out the licorice, take a flying leap over the baseline, return to the dugout, and brush his teeth.

How about you? Are you superstitious? Do you knock on wood, cross your fingers, avoid cracked sidewalks and the number 13? Do you add a pack of gum at the grocery store if your bill totals $6.66?

I used to think that if I just prayed enough, read the Bible enough, had enough faith, God would owe me, and it would be smooth sailing. But God is not a vending machine. We can’t push the right buttons and get what we want. Trials come that we might grow, that we might experience His abiding presence. He is a loving Father who invites us to walk with Him through the joys and trials of life.

I like Eugene Peterson’s take on Colossians 2:8. “You don’t need a telescope, a microscope, or a horoscope to realize the fullness of Christ, and the emptiness of the universe without Him. When you come to Him, that fullness comes together for you, too. His power extends over everything.”

So today, I invite you to trust Him alone. Whether you’re driving or flying or playing baseball. Go in His strength and His power alone.

God is entirely trustworthy on Friday the 13th or on a Saturday in September when we accidently walk beneath a ladder and trip over a black cat.

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Phil Callaway

Phil Callaway, the host of Laugh Again, is an award-winning author and speaker, known worldwide for his humorous yet perceptive look at life.

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