By Dr. John Ed Mathison
John Ed Mathison Leadership Ministries
Have you ever heard someone described as being “lucky?” Have you ever heard a person brag about being “lucky?” Have you ever heard of successful events in life described as just being a result of “luck?”
I don’t believe in luck. I think we have a choice of living by luck or living by faith. Living by luck is determined by the immediate situation. Living by faith looks at life not only in the present but also in the future.
The concept of luck is connected to the celebration of St. Patrick’s Day, March 17. In the 5th Century, Patrick was a missionary in Ireland. As a teen, he had been kidnapped by Irish raiders, but while he was working as a shepherd, he was able to escape. During that time, he found faith in the God who lives. He returned to Ireland as a Christian missionary. He had a tremendous witness in Ireland until he died on March 17 and was buried at Downpatrick. He became the foremost saint from Ireland.
St. Patrick would use a three-leaf shamrock to teach about the Holy Trinity to Irish pagans. Each leaf represented a member of the Trinity – God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. Since a four-leaf shamrock is rare, people began to describe it as bringing good luck.
St. Patrick’s Day is more recognized today than it has been in the past. There are huge parades in different countries. Since St. Patrick’s Day falls during Lent, the Irish people would lift Lenten restrictions on eating and drinking alcohol for that day. That is the reason Irish Whisky and beer were consumed heavily in celebrating St. Patrick’s Day. Cider could be substituted for Methodists and Baptists! The idea of luck came about in this celebration. A shamrock was placed in the bottom of the drinking glass. When you finished the drink as a toast to St. Patrick, the shamrock could be tossed over your shoulder, which was thought to bring you good luck.
You can throw a bunch of shamrocks over your shoulder, but I do not believe it will ever bring you good luck! Arnold Palmer once said, “The the more I practice, the luckier I get!” Accomplishments are much more determined by preparation, practice and execution than luck. (Tweet this)
Faith – not luck – is the way to live. Faith is understanding that God created us and loved us. Faith is understanding that “all things work together for good for those who love God and are called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28). Faith is “living one day at a time” (Matt. 6:34 LTRB). Trusting in God every step of the way is faith. “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path” (Ps. 119:105).
Tradition says that if you don’t wear green on St. Patrick’s Day, you might get pinched. Wear green and avoid the pinch. But I have some better advice to avoid the pinch in life – move forward, inch by inch, trusting more in God with every step.
Wear something green on St. Patrick’s Day to celebrate the life of a great Christian missionary, evangelist and saint. Don’t spend your time looking for a four-leaf clover or throwing a shamrock over your shoulder – spend your time thanking God for His goodness and all the good things that He brings about in your life.
I recently had a series of events occur in my life that have been extremely important. Some people would say I was lucky to be at the right place at the right time. I know better! I know that God had me in the right place, and He had designated the time, and He is responsible for the outcome!
I Thess. 5:16-18 says, “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” That’s living by faith – not luck!
What’s your Faith Quotient?
John Ed’s blog posts appear in For His Glory each week.1
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