Don’t Wish Me Luck
by Sue Bohlin
A Christian high school in the Chicago area displayed a disturbing message for one of their teams on their marquee: “Good luck in the State Finals!” I knew they were wishing them well, but unwittingly, the message writer had bought into an unbiblical worldview.
There is no such thing as luck!
The concept of luck is an animistic belief, which is the core of folk religion worldwide: a belief in the unseen world that is populated by various kinds of spirits such as the spirits of the dead (ghosts) and nature spirits, as well as unseen supernatural forces: fate, the “evil eye,” magic, witchcraft, impersonal energy forces (“chi”) . . . and luck.
People think of good luck as a supernatural force that has to be attracted, or coaxed (“Come on, double sixes!”), or somehow manipulated to work for us. And bad luck is an unseen negative force that we need to protect ourselves from. So people put their trust in sacred or magical objects and actions in hope of manipulating this supposed force of luck.
When I was young, I wore a “miraculous medal” on my watch, a charm that I believed would keep me safe. I see rosaries hanging from rear view mirrors for the same purpose. Then there are magic/sacred items thought to bring luck: a rabbit’s foot, a horseshoe, a four-leaf clover. Lots of people scheduled weddings and other events on November 11 of this year (11-11-11) in the belief it would bring them luck. One woman on the Dr. Phil show was planning to marry for the eleventh time on 11-11-11 because she thought it would bring her luck after ten bad marriages! Wisely, Dr. Phil told her she didn’t need luck, she needed pre-marriage counseling…
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