What do an airline, softball-player, and missionary have in common?
Officials at Nepal Airlines have recently sacrificed some goats to appease Akash Bhairab, the Hindu sky god. This will, it is hoped, help with some of their recent technical problems.
One of my buddies has a compulsive need to throw the ball around infield the same way at the same time for good luck.
A missionary with whom I was recently in dialog believes that if we are sick or in poverty, it is because we do not have enough faith.
Hindus, an agnostic, and a Christian: what is this thing they have in common? I think they are superstitious. What's behind this? I wonder if it isn't a view of God (gods, the force, whatever) that sees "Him" as 1) flighty and 2) manipulatable.
1. "God might change..." Under this belief, the higher power is not consistent or trustworthy. He may be kind for awhile, or He may become unruly later. We don't really know.
2. Therefore we must do whatever we can to keep Him appeased. Repeat the montra, kill a goat, prove the strength of our "faith". In the end, the emphasis is on our deeds that manipulate or change God's thoughts of us and goal for us.
This kind of thinking is destructive - and also untrue.
I am thankful that the true God is not like that. The God of the Bible is a rock: unchanging and utterly trustworthy. He is the One who atones for us.
The God of the Bible is also sovereign: He is not dependent on us and our rites, but we on Him and His grace. I need not be fearfully superstitious when "all things work for the good of those who love Him" (Romans 8.28) and "from Him, through Him, and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory!" (Rom. 11.33-36)
In trouble, sickness, and sword, let us rest in our rock.