Daily Devotionals

Devotional: September 25th

Superstitions are superstitions. They are manufactured beliefs that people fervently hold to and by which they swear. They hold people's imaginations, and their lives, in their grip and often compel them to heights of accomplishment that they had thought impossible to reach. Some are far fetched, some are just simply nonsensical and some can knock your socks off. I choose to draw my favorites from the world of sports. Some are predictable. One will grab your fancy.

For all his incredible ability, "The Great One", hockey player Wayne Gretzky, had a few things he did religiously before every game. Before warm-ups he would drink a Diet Coke, water, Gatorade, another Diet Coke, more Gatorade and then down four hot dogs. Following that sumptuous feast he would then proceed to deliberately hit his first warmup shot wide left of the goal. I wonder how common this knowledge of Gretzky is. If you ever see any youth hockey league players doing anything remotely related to this you'll know why.

The world of baseball is rife with superstition. Willy Mays always stepped on second base first on his way to the outfield. Shortstop Marty Marion picked up imaginary pebbles to keep balls hit to him from taking bad hops. Babe Ruth always knocked the dirt out of his spikes between pitches even if there was no dirt to remove. Pinch hitter deluxe, Minnie Minoso, would take showers in full uniform, spikes included, to break out of a hitting slump. But the strangest superstition of all was perpetrated in 1911 with a man named Vic Faust.

Faust told New York Giants manager John McGraw that fortune teller had predicted that the Giants would win the pennant if Faust was on the roster as a pitcher. The problem was, Faust wasn't a pitcher or even a baseball player. But McGraw was superstitious so he put Faust on the team. Faust was on the roster for three straight years and the Giants won the pennant all three years with Faust pitching a couple of games after the pennant was sewed up. In 1914 Faust didn't show up for spring training. He had been committed to mental institution; and the Giants lost the pennant.

Many people treat the church in much the same way. They see it as a magical kingdom where certain things happen because certain things are repeatedly done. We aren't working with the fates here. We're working with the almighty God who made the universe. We are working with a basic truth concerning His Fatherhood. "And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose." Romans 8:28 No happenstance, no magic; just the love of the heavenly Father.

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