Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Superstition vs Faith

I had a crisis of faith this weekend. Well, kind of. I had faith, but I put it in the wrong thing. Caught up in the moment, I let superstition over-rule my faith.

At a volleyball tournament, you notice all kinds of interesting superstitions. From the routine of serving the ball to how players style their hair. Like most athletes, these girls would stick with the habits that produced the disired results and quickly dismiss the ones that didn’t.

In the heat of battle, I adopted my fellow team parents’ philosophy that a certain set of seats gave off some good mojo for our team. We didn’t move from that spot in order to give our team the winning edge. But somewhere in the back of my mind was the nagging question, “Doesn’t superstition hurt your faith?”

Superstition is

- a belief or notion, not based on reason or knowledge, in or of the ominous significance of a particular thing, circumstance, occurrence, proceeding, or the like

- irrational fear of what is unknown or mysterious, especially in connection with religion

- any blindly accepted belief or notion

Faith is

- confidence or trust in a person or thing

- belief that is not based on proof

- belief in God or in the doctrines or teachings of religion

- belief in anything, as a code of ethics, standards of merit, etc

- a system of religious belief: the Christian faith

I’m not trying to stir up the pot, but these two definitions have some interesting similarities, don’t they? But it all comes down to one thing…why do you do what you’re doing?

I’ve noticed that superstitions usually rely on the actions of the person. Whether it’s performing a specific routine to get something done, or having to use the same item over and over again because its “lucky,” superstition focuses on an actual item or process. (Sounds a bit like an idol, doesn’t it?)

Faith, however, is normally based on personal knowledge. We believe in God, for example, because we have experienced His presence at some point of our lives. We have faith in another person’s abilities because we have seen them perform the task in the past. We perform a routine based on reverence to God, not because it will bring us good luck.

So, our group sat in our courtside seats cheering on our team. There were only two times when we didn’t sit in those same seats, and we lost both games. Maybe it was about group unity. Maybe it gave our girls more confidence. Maybe we psyched out the other teams. Who knows! One way or another, it was all in our heads…

Be blessed,

Jennifer

“You are still worldly. For since there is jealousy and quarreling among you, are you not worldly? Are you not acting like mere humans?” 1 Corinthians 3:3

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