Baseball, Peanuts, and Superstitions

Take-Me-Out-to-the-Ball-Game-logo-FINAL-285x300During the Royals and Giants game on Wednesday night, I started eating roasted peanuts that were salted in the shell. When the 5th inning came to an end, I went to the cupboard, grabbed the peanuts, a soda, and returned to my chair. I popped the first peanut in my mouth and almost immediately the pop returned to the Royals’ bats.

If I was truly superstitious, I would eat from this same bag of peanuts for the remainder of the World Series. Baseball is a sport that is noted for its superstitions. Wade Boggs was one of the more superstitious players:

• He had to eat fried chicken before every game.
• On the nights he was in the lineup, he had to take batting practice at exactly 5:17.
• When he warmed up for a game, he would field 150 groundballs—not 149 or 151.
• Before he stepped into the batter’s box, he’d write CHAI (Hebrew for LIFE), in the dirt.

The superstitions of people have been a matter of discussion for thousands of years. Even the Apostle Paul addressed the issue with the philosophers on Mars Hill (Acts 17:22-24): “Men of Athens, I perceive that in all things you are very religious.”

The word “religious” is a Greek word (deisidaimonesteros) that means superstitious. The problem with the “men of Athens” was not that they worshipped too little, but they worshipped too much. These people had an altar for every god they could think of, and they even had one to “The Unknown God.”

In Paul’s letter to the church at Rome, he said the conundrum is not that God cannot be known, but that people choose to not acknowledge Him:

“God’s anger is revealed from heaven against every ungodly and immoral thing people do as they try to suppress the truth by their immoral living. What can be known about God is clear to them because he has made it clear to them. From the creation of the world, God’s invisible qualities, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly observed in what he made. As a result, people have no excuse. They knew God but did not praise and thank him for being God. Instead, their thoughts were pointless, and their misguided minds were plunged into darkness. While claiming to be wise, they became fools. They exchanged the glory of the immortal God for statues that looked like mortal humans, birds, animals, and snakes (Romans 1:18-22).”

How do you acknowledge God in your life?

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