This blog was supposed to go online last week in time for England’s match against Croatia, but there were gremlins in the system and the technology glitched. Then Friday 13th came around and there were still problems… perhaps it was a sign? Or was it? Read on, but with the benefit of hindsight that proves that all the rituals of a football-mad nation didn’t quite manage to bend the ball into the back of the net!
This time last week, the nation was gripped by football fever. England hadn’t won the World Cup since 1966, so we’d do anything in our power to win again, right? According to some reports, that’s exactly what we were doing – grannies refused to take curlers out of their hair (because that’s where they were in 1966), the same meals were being served day in day out in houses all over the country, and everyone seemed to be wearing their lucky pants. We became obsessed with ritual in the hope it would win us the World Cup, but what does God have to say about superstition?
Here are a few quotes from the Bible: “Have nothing to do with godless myths and old wives’ tales; rather, train yourself to be godly.” (1 Timothy 4:6-7)
Exodus 20:3-4 “You shall have no other gods before me.”
Proverbs 3:5-7 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord, and turn away from evil.”
Colossians 2:8-10 “See to it that no one enslaves you through philosophy and empty deceit according to human tradition, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to the Messiah, because all the essence of deity inhabits him in bodily form. And you have been filled by him, who is the head of every ruler and authority.”
It may all seem like harmless fun, but when we act out of superstition, however small, it reinforces our mindset that what we will on earth can happen. We are removing God’s will from the picture and claiming the power that is rightfully His, as our own. Instead, as Christians, we should ask God to be intimately involved in our lives, and for Him to transform us to His will, so that we always seek out what God wants rather than simply pleasing ourselves. Let’s uncross our fingers and pray instead!