of the Irish? Or the Power of Jesus?!
I know that we are a bit removed from the Irish
time of St. Patrick’s Day, but we are still in the month of
March, and Easter is Late this year, so I think we are still in
the realm of discussing Irish issues. Like who exactly is St. Patrick?
Well, thanks to my hometown newspaper, I am able to tell you the
following about St. Patrick. He was born in AD 385. He was not Christian
until about the age of 16 at which point he became a slave, and
became closer to God during his captivity. He escaped from his slavery,
and fled to Gaul, where he sought religious education at a monastery.
After about twelve years of study, he essentially felt that evangelism
was his calling. Not too long after, he was appointed second Bishop
of Ireland. Patrick set out to convert Ireland to Christianity,
and that's exactly what he did. He had great success at bringing
people out of paganism to become Christians. This upset the Celtic
Druids quite a bit, and because of that he was arrested several
times. However, it seems Patrick was quite the escape artist, as
not only from his slavery, but every time he was arrested he escaped.
He was able to set up monasteries all over Ireland, which helped
his cause for the country’s conversion quite a bit. After
thirty years of successful ministry to Ireland, Patrick retired.
He died on March 17, AD 461 which is now known as St. Patrick’s
Day. (New Fairfield, CT - Citizen News, Section 2, March 14, 2001,
Based on this story, the root of my issue does
not lie with St. Patrick himself, but with the general Irish customs,
tradition and folklore that now surrounds what is essentially a
Christian holiday. There are many things I would like to discuss.
Like why exactly a four-leaf clover (as opposed to a three-leave
clover) is considered lucky? And why in general the Irish are known
for luck and the saying “the luck of the Irish.” What
does this mean? What exactly is a leprechaun? I think that all of
these questions are all quite related, and that a lot of them are
far off the mark of what St. Patrick originally stood for. These
things all surface just because St. Patrick was Irish, and somebody
decided to honor him for what he did as a holiday. So, the secular
(non-religious) ways of the world decided to focus more on Irish
folklore and legend, then the actual work of a great man of God.
Where does this whole mystique of luck come
from in relationship to the Irish? Well in all honesty I was not
able to easily find this out. I tried researching as much as I could,
but couldn’t really find much on the specific luck of the
Irish. However, as I mentioned, the four-leaf clover is considered
a lucky item, and this is often related to the character of the
leprechaun. A leprechaun is considered to be somewhat of an Irish
fairy from what I could tell. One that apparently brings good luck.
Perhaps similar to how cupid brings love, and the tooth fairy brings
money for teeth. Probably the foundation for the cereal “Lucky
Charms.” (One of my favorites!) What it comes down to is,
it’s a mystery, at least to me, why luck is associated with
the Irish, outside of these few speculations above.
So let’s just deal with luck. What is
luck? Well, the dictionary says this: “luck. n. 1. That which
happens to a person, as if by chance, in the course of events: to
have good luck. 2. Good fortune; advantage or success considered
as the result of chance: to wish one luck. (The American College
So pretty much, luck is based on nothing. Nothing
at all. There’s no good reason that luck should exist. It’s
just sort of a code that we came up with for whether things are
going well for us or not. So you tell me, do you live by luck? Do
you consider yourself lucky; or fortunate? Do you consider yourself
lucky; or blessed? I know that the idea of luck is hard to escape
in our society, however, lately I’ve really been trying hard
to get away from the idea of luck, and consider myself fortunate
or blessed. Let me tell you why. Luck takes away from God! It’s
saying that for no good reason at all, something good happened to
me. Not something God did for me, or blessed me with, but just from
the general cosmos of the realms of nothing (if you think that exact
term means something, it doesn’t) I had something good happen
to me. I’m not buying that. And if you believe in God, you
shouldn’t either. God gives us ALL we have, and he can take
it away in a heartbeat. So instead of considering ourselves lucky,
let’s try to start considering ourselves ridiculously blessed,
and be continuously thankful to God for that.
“Well, Joe, what about the bad things?
What’s your answer to bad luck, or being unlucky?” Well,
if we live with the idea of bad luck, I think there are two possible
things we take away from. First of all, we take away from life.
Bad things happen to all people, to any degree from mild to severe.
Life gives us tests and adversity from birth to death, and to not
realize that is to not understand life. Because it’s from
those tests and adversities that success and triumph comes. So,
without good things, there could be no bad things, and without bad
things there could be no good things, because there would be no
sense of relativity to compare either one to. In that case we would
be living in something like (in the words of an old Dave Matthews
song) “one big nothin’, one big nothin’ at all.”
(Not a Christian artist or song, just words put in a way that fits
what I’m trying to describe).
Secondly, the idea of bad luck takes away from
Satan. That’s right, Satan. Evil powers and spirits. Touchy
subject, yet one that does exist, nevertheless. So you may be thinking,
”yeah, we should want to take away from Satan, right? Why
should we give him credit?” Well, the only credit we should
give Satan is that he exists. Because of his existence, he tempts
us all with negative things. If we deny that Satan creates bad situations,
and is constantly at work in our world, as we know it, you might
as well throw the Bible out your window. No Satan makes the Bible
obsolete. God would have nothing to overcome, Jesus would have died
for nothing, and no battles would have been won for us on the cross.
It’s that simple. Denying that Satan exists and works in the
world is a dangerous viewpoint, because that gives him all the more
room to sneak up on you and attack in so many ways. So in review
and put simply, you can chalk bad luck up to two things. The tests/adversities
of life, and Satan.
So I’ll ask you again. Do you live with
luck? Or do you live with the power of Jesus? Do you live with faith
like a child, which can move the mighty mountains? Or do you live
merely with good luck? Do you live with the many tests that God
puts before us and the temptations that Satan uses against us, or
do you live merely with bad luck? I think in both cases there are
Here’s the luck you should live with.
It’s not luck at all; it’s the power of Jesus. Philippians
4:13 states “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens
me.” In the power of Jesus’ name, you can accomplish
anything for his glory and the good of his kingdom. And even those
tests that you might consider as bad luck? They might not be part
of your plan, but they are part of the plan of the one who created
you! These things will bring you to new heights in character and
as a person that loves God and that God loves. Romans 8:28 tells
us, “And we know that God causes everything to work together
for the good of those who love God and are called according to his
purpose for them.” And go into every situation knowing that
God will put nothing before you that you can’t handle with
his strength and power.
It may be hard, but try to start living without
luck. Like I said, I know it’s hard and I know that often
times, no harm is meant by it. But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t
strive to give God every ounce of credit he deserves, or be aware
of what Satan is trying to pull on us next. Always be thankful and
alert, and try your hardest to leave luck to the Irish.