“Christian Contentment & Superstition”
By Erik Borlaug
If you are a sports fan, you are well aware of superstitious rituals. In pre-game warm-ups, athletes will often tap their feet on the ground in a certain way, listen to a specific song, kiss their necklace, or walk up and down the field a specific number of times. These rituals are supposed to impact the outcome of the game to be in their favor.
When I think about superstitious rituals, I can't help but chuckle. It's odd that someone would think some physical ritual would magically change the scoreboard at the end of the game. The truth, however, is that I don't have the right to chuckle. I am guilty of the same thing in a more consequential way. Sometimes I believe in the phrase "the grass is greener on the other side." If only I had: more money, a newer car, a different church, more education, the latest gadget, more friends, a bigger house, and different circumstances, suddenly I would be more happy and joyful.
I don't rely on rituals like listening to a specific song, kissing a necklace, or walking up and down a field. However, my "lucky charms" that I rely on are oftentimes the greener grass on the other side. At its core, this is no different from superstitious athletes relying on a ritual to give them a smile at the end of the game.
To be fair, sometimes a change in circumstances is helpful.
However, we should not rely on these things for ultimate satisfaction in life. True purpose and meaning come from the Lord and knowing Him.
Look at Isaiah's invitation to enter into true contentment...
Come, everyone who thirsts,
come to the waters;
and he who has no money,
come, buy and eat!
Come, buy wine and milk
without money and without price.
Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread,
and your labor for that which does not satisfy?
Listen diligently to me, and eat what is good,
and delight yourselves in rich food.
Incline your ear, and come to me;
hear, that your soul may live...
This text is inviting superstitious people into a relationship with the Lord. Are we feasting on the good food, or are we thirsting and hungering while spending all kinds of money on our superstitious activities? They will fail us, but God will bless us.