I’m very superstitious. I believe in luck, good favor, karma and juju. I would totally have one of those key chains with a rabbit’s foot dangling about if it weren’t for the part about it being a chopped off foot of a rabbit. Instead, I just eat a bowl of Lucky Charms cereal once a day and I’m fairly certain that covers me for the whole day. Well, at least until my sugar high comes to a screeching halt and has me slumped over in a coma at my desk.
The other day at work, I was covering the phones and if you know me, you know that I’m not a phone person. I’ll converse with you all day long by email, facebook, text and even Twitter, but make me talk on the phone…ugh. I’m a bit inept. Anyblindtransfer, my buddy of a boss and me were shooting the easy breezies and the phones were pleasantly silent. We shot the smack and didn’t once get interrupted. Much later, another desk jockey came and asked how things had been going, I watched in slow mo terror as my buddy began to utter the words…”It’s been pretty qui..” I stopped him dead in his tracks by using my favorite distraction…loud, awkward noises.
I made a noise reminiscent of the one my ninth grade Spanish teacher would make when I spoke to her in English about how I needed to get up and sharpen my pencil. She expressed her lingual displeasure by getting a tad too close to my zone’s buffer and spitting out, “Zsha, zsha, zsha, zsha, zsha! No, no, no, Juanita! En Espanol, por favor.” In desperation, I would then use my mime skills to artistically and exaggeratedly express to her what I had no clue how to cluck out. After a few more “Zsha, zshas” and knowing that I had no recollection of ever hearing the word for pencil sharpener; I just shrugged and smudged the rest of answers with my gnarly nub.
Where was I? Ah, yes!
I wouldn’t let my boss get out the last syllable to complete the sentence about our quiet morning because I was absolutely certain that as the last word fell out of his mouth and into the universe, the phones, would in fact, start ringing off the hook with cranksters using as many hard to understand accents and far-fetched problems as possible.
I told you, I’m superstitious.
It seems ludicrous to say that I believe in luck about phones and the power of suggestion and I’m mostly (kinda) exaggerating, however, it’s kind of how I approach God sometimes. Some days, God is my Magic 8-Ball. I pick Him up, close my eyes and ask Him questions and shake Him about hoping that my karma isn’t too chameleon and my aura is a nice shade of rosy so I’ll get the good answers. To ensure “outlook good” I flip through my Jesus To Do List to make sure that I have a check mark next to each Jesus task.
1. Don’t swear (well, not the doosies anyway) – check
2. Let someone in front of me in traffic – check
3. Don’t yell obscenities at the guy who cut me off that I DIDN’T let in front of me – next.
4. Pay my tithe. check…CHECK (pff…get it?)
5. Read my Bible more than Facebook. Che…let me just update my status that I’m doing my devotions.
6. Smile and make awkward newbie conversation with visitors at church. check. (see below)
Me: “So, is this your first time here at Crosstowne?”
Them: “No, we’ve been here for 6 months and have met you twice.“
Me: “Oh, that’s…um…uh. Sorry, I have to go to the over there place and do that thing that people need me to say.”
7. Don’t think about sex too much. bowCHECKawowwow…oh wait.
8. Donate clothes to Goodwill (or just randomly give them to people wearing ugly clothes). chic check
9. Drink the church’s coffee and give a dollar towards saving a child. Well when I put it that way…thanks Starbucks for taking rice away from Pepe when you made me drink your delicious vixen of a blended, frothy delight.
10. Download only the “clean” versions of all the nasty songs I like. *$*&$ checkity yeah!
After my checklist is completed, I wait for the good news to start raining down on me and I get my golden bowl out ready to catch my rainbows (I have no idea what that means). However, if something bad happens or something I shook God about doesn’t go my way, my knee-jerk is to think that God is giving me a swift kick in the kisser and wanting me to figure out which item on my list I screwed up on.
If I bounced a check, I start analyzing when and how much tithe I paid and get my calculator out to tabulate to make sure that the 10% was all accounted for and if it wasn’t then I lower my head and know that God is teaching me about stealing from Him. It had nothing, of course, to do with my 58 trips to Starbucks the week before, but was all about Big Bad Jehovah making an example out of me.
If I have a doubt about an element of my faith and am on a plane or on a road trip, you better believe, I’ll stop myself mid-thought so God won’t hear my brain whisper and steer the plane into the ground to teach me about how powerful He is.
If I pray for someone about their job situation and they lose their job, I think back on my thought-life to see if perhaps I let a few ‘iffy’ thoughts sneak by and wreck everything. “Sorry about your job, Joe. What had happened was…after praying for you, I started flipping through the squiggly channels and…”
Most of us do this more than we realize…we make God into a genie, a good luck charm or a ritual. We expect Him to love us because we do stuff. We expect Him to give us stuff we want and keep the stuff we don’t want away because we did that stuff we thought He wanted us to do and didn’t do the stuff we were sure He didn’t want us to do. (take a breath here)
Then, when we end up dealing with death, rain on our picnics, divorces and stuffy noses, we get upset at God because He didn’t make it all happen like we wanted and asked Him to (using please and thank you liberally).
To me, it’s amazingly liberating that God already knows what I think, what I do, what I’m going to do and loves me anyway. Sure, He wants me to make good decisions with my mind, body, soul and all that encapsulates. And when we position ourselves to want to get to know Him more, there are blessings and promises that come with that. But He doesn’t promise that I’ll have good luck if I check a bunch of things off my list and He sure won’t love me any less when I screw up.
So, perhaps I’ll lay off the Lucky Charms for the time being, reevaluate that JC To Do List of mine and rest in the knowledge that I can’t make God love me anymore (or any less) than He already does and that He’s got this life of mine all under control. No shaking necessary.
This Blog Brought to You By:
Inspiration: Brad Goshorn
Music: Shiny Toy Guns, Kings of Leon, Angels and Airwaves
Drink: Iced, unsweet orange spice tea & coffee a la French press.
Scripture: Matthew 5:45
*Stevie Wonder for a funkalicious song.
*Ms. Ferguson for being full of zsha zsha.
*Lucky Charms for being magically delicious.