Are you superstitious?

Yesterday, I went for my evening run as I am wont to do this time of year. I ran the same route as always, jamming to some t swift when I saw something dark laying on the sidewalk in the distance. After a bad fall in the winter, I’m extra careful when out running. Debris I might trip on, rumply sidewalks, wobbly bike riders, and the like. Well, I saw this dark thing ahead, then sort of left it in the back of my mind until I got closer so I could hop over it. I thought it may have been a coconut or a branch. But it definitely wasn’t. I didn’t realize until I was right on top of it. It was a bird. A dead bird. A dead blackbird.

Now…I have been known to be a tiny bit superstitious, as most of us are. Are you? If I get my favorite parking spot at the thrift store – I’m going to have good luck shopping. If a picture frame of someone falls down – I should call them to make sure they’re ok. A black cat crosses my path – bad luck. As a kid I would avoid all cracks in sidewalks because I didn’t want to break my mother’s back. You know the kind of superstition. The things we teach (usually in jest) our children to believe. But things that people actually believed back in the day. My mother in law still swears by all of the things she did to get pregnant with a boy! It did work! Maybe I would believe if it were me! I don’t know that I do believe in these things, but they are my first thought. And a dead blackbird in my path? Definitely a sign of bad luck.

So, then (no the story isn’t over yet), I continued running after being spooked by the bird incident. I was nearing home when I (foolishly) added a little side route onto my run because I wanted to get to 20 minutes. It was a road I don’t normally go down, so then with the blackbird in mind, I started thinking about this book I read in the fall. In it, a child goes missing and then it turns out that the neighbors next door kidnapped her and had her in their garage for like 10 years. Eek! This is why I carry pepper spray when I run. But anyway, so I was looking at these houses I don’t know, thinking about getting kidnapped and what a great book that would make (mother gets kidnapped and is kept a few blocks away while her children grow up) when I turned to go back home. I passed by our neighbors next door who have a stone angel in their yard. It’s been there for ages. But it didn’t look like it usually does, cherubic and proud. Nope, It was knocked down on its face in the dirt. Another sign of bad luck, don’t you think??

Both of these things do have a scientific explanation. Birds die all the time, it had to land somewhere. We had terrible storms the other day. I’m sure the angel was knocked over during one of them. But are they a sign? Or was it just coincidence? I read a book called The Secret in my college years all about the law of attraction. Basically it says that our thoughts attract positive or negative things to us. If you believe that you’re going to succeed, then you will. If you believe that something bad is going to happen, it will. I do think there is at least a little bit of truth to that.

It’s all interesting timing though. I was just chatting with a couple of friends a few weeks ago about faith and things that I consider superstition or sometimes just coincidence in my own life and they in theirs. My friend said that when things happen in her life, she believes that God is intervening. It’s a sign. Direct from God. She said that she has had things happen that are just too much of a coincidence to not be explained by God. I don’t know that I believe that, but I clearly believe that some forces are at work with my mild superstitions. Why not God? I mean, I suppose if not Him, then who?

Anyway, an interesting ponder for today. What do you believe? Superstition? A sign from above? Law of attraction? Or is it all just coincidence? I’d love to hear what you think. Either way, I’ll be keeping my wits about me until some times passes between me, the black bird and the fallen angel.