IN films and books, superstitious people are often portrayed as ignorant or foolish. Yet sometimes those of us who think we know better find superstition filling us with anxiety and fear.
The basis of such fears is ignorance that is assuaged by gaining a greater knowledge of God as all-powerful Love and of our relationship to Him as His spiritual offspring. Christ Jesus' mission was to open our eyes to God as Spirit, infinite good, and to show us our unbreakable unity with Him. Evil doesn't come from God, our divine Father. Nor can evil attack any of His children. As Jesus showed us, God's love for man is impartial and unlimited.
In his Sermon on the Mount, found in Matthew, Christ Jesus asked, "What man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone? He went on to say that if we could understand goodness enough to take care of our children, "how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?
Yet even when we are willing to accept the goodness of God, sometimes we find it hard to overcome the nagging fear that a particular superstition really does have power over us. At moments like this, the surest answer is found in prayer to God and in the realization that He is ever-present and all-powerful good. This means we can never be cut off from Him. While we may not see this all at once, if we continue to pray to know that man is God's likeness, governed only by Him, we will be led to the right st eps for our individual progress.
We overcome evil as we understand that superstition is only a powerless belief of what the New Testament refers to as the carnal mind. Sometimes the impulses of this mind toward sin, anger, or fear may seem to be our own thoughts. But such impulses are never part of our true, spiritual identity, and this mind must be put off if we are to know our true unity with God.
Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, says of the carnal mind in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures: "It is the false belief that mind is in matter, and is both evil and good; that evil is as real as good and more powerful. This belief has not one quality of Truth. It is encouraging to read such a statement. And it is even more heartening to know that we can prove its truth. This is where our efforts to live in accord with God's purpose make an enormous difference. As we yearn to obey His laws and to acknowledge His presence, evil's arguments lose their ability to frighten us. We see there is really only one side--God's omnipotence.
In praying to overcome superstition, we sometimes find out things about ourselves that are unexpected. For instance, I remember being shocked during a fishing trip to discover that I was reluctant to change my clothes because I had made such a good catch while fishing wearing a particular outfit. Somehow I had ignorantly accepted an association between what I was wearing and my ability to catch fish for us to eat.
That crazy little nagging anxiety kept whispering in my ear. I realized that I needed to take some time to understand that the source of good is God. I prayed until I truly understood my relationship to God as His spiritual child, totally inseparable from Him and the good He is always giving us. I wasn't doing this just so that I would catch more fish, but the subsequent days of fishing went fine, no matter what clothing I wore!
Minor experiences of overcoming superstition can be opportunities to learn more of God and His control in our lives. Each time we face down a limiting or fearful thought, we become more confident in the permanence of His love, and this leads to peaceful, healthy, and unselfish lives.