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Three or Four Leafed Clover

Updated on January 23, 2013

Good and Bad Luck

When something good or bad happens in someone's life we often say, "Oh, that was lucky!" or "Oh, bad luck." If a student is about to sit for an examination, we may say, "I wish you good luck." If a friend goes fishing and we ask how he thinks he will go, he may reply, "Well, I'm just going to try my luck." When he returns and we ask if he caught any fish, he might answer, "No such luck." He may add, "Apparently I'd taken the wrong kind of bait for those fish, worse luck." If a person is short of cash, she may say, "I'm down on my luck at the moment."

The Concept of Luck

The notion or concept of luck has been around for a long time. Ovid was positive about it, he said, "Luck affects everything; let your hook always be cast. In the stream where you least expect it, there will be fish." However other ancients took a different view; Seneca wrote, "Luck never made a man wise."

The concept of luck seems to be in most languages and cultures and is to be found in their proverbs, as well. It is interesting that a number of them seem to be connected with the sea and with fishing. The French say, "No gulls, no luck," while the Arabs say, "Throw a lucky man in the sea and he will come up with a fish in his mouth."

So what is this luck? It is when something either good or bad happens and we consider that it is due to the power of chance. Some define it as 'accidental good or bad fortune.'

Four-leaf Clover
Four-leaf Clover | Source

Good Luck Charms

Some people carry good luck charms in their pockets or they may wear them in a locket or on a bracelet. It may be a 'lucky' coin that they found or tiny silver or gold charms they have purchased or been given and have added to a charm bracelet.The good luck charm may be a preserved four-leaf clover that they bought or were given. The idea of encouraging good luck is deep-seated.

  • In the USA, it has been discovered that there is an extra gene in the clover plant that causes it to make leaves with four leaflets, rather than the usual three. There are now farms that grow these plants by the thousand. Lucky for them. However, it is thought to be luckier if the four-leaf clover is actually found, rather than purchased.

This interest in clover is often credited to St. Patrick, but that was far from his intention.

St. Patrick and the Shamrock

Who was St. Patrick? He is traditionally thought of as being of Scottish descent. His parents lived in Birdoswald, a Roman fort on Hadrian's Wall. Young Patrick was captured when he was about twelve and taken to Ireland as a slave. After some years he escaped and returned home. Later, with a group of friends, he went back to Ireland as a Christian missionary. This occurred during the 300 - 400s AD.

St. Patrick and the Trinity: One day, as Patrick was explaining about the Trinity, he took a leaf of a shamrock plant (which is similar to a clover leaf) to show that, although there were three separate leaflets, they together made up one whole leaf. God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit are One.

St. Patrick's Day: By the seventh century, Patrick had been declared the Patron Saint of Ireland. St. Patrick's Day is 17th March and the shamrock leaf is the central symbol for St. Patrick's Day.

Three-leaf Clover: Christian Reminder of the Trinity
Three-leaf Clover: Christian Reminder of the Trinity | Source

Blessed by God

Reminder of God: What would St. Patrick have thought about people carrying a four-leaf clover for luck? He wanted them to think of God each time they were in a field and saw the clover growing.

The Three-leaf Clover: Another way of looking at the three-leaf clover is taken from 1 Corinthians 13: faith, hope and love. Faith in God the Holy Spirit means that we trust that He will guide us in our lives; hope for eternal life is through the sacrifice of Jesus for our sins and He is our Mediator; our love for God is a faint mirror of the Father's love for us, for, as the Bible tells us, God is Love.

Christians Do Not Believe in Luck: As Christians, we should not rely on luck, either good or bad. It is our choice. If we rely on God instead, we find that what happens in our lives is not a matter of luck, chance or coincidence. If an incident occurs in our lives and we perceive it as being either good or bad, it does not matter. What is important is that God will use that incident to teach us and ultimately, through it, to bless us. Some people like to call such occurrences God-incidents.

When we allow God to guide us, He blesses us. Let us praise and thank Him.

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    • BlossomSB profile imageAUTHOR

      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 

      5 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      ahorseback: I know the feeling. It's something that gets you in, like hunting for mushrooms, it becomes a habit. Thanks for your comments.

    • profile image

      ahorseback 

      5 years ago

      Hi Blossom, My uncle Greg on my mothers side was a clover leaf searcher , always finding four leafers ! He would be outside looking at the ground almost always . Then he would just hand it to someone !Awesome hub here !........:-}

    • BlossomSB profile imageAUTHOR

      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 

      6 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      RogerSanchezJr: Thank you! Have a great day!

      midget38: Thank you for your lovely, affirmative comments.

      SkeetyD: It's great that you came by and read it. Yes, it's amazing how superstitious we can be. There are so many things that are part of our culture and it can be quite difficult to turn our backs on them and remember to rely only on God.

    • profile image

      SkeetyD 

      6 years ago

      I enjoyed reading this article. The concept of luck has been ingrained in our lives and talking about it comes naturally. But God is a much more sturdy foundation in which we should wish or rather, pray. Voted up!

    • midget38 profile image

      Michelle Liew 

      6 years ago from Singapore

      God bless you as well, Blossom, and this very interesting look at luck. Yes, Clovers have always had that symbol of fortune attached to them and in older times they would have been used as a means of feeling "lucky" or secure. Thanks for the information on St Patrick..March the 17 is a feast day I always remember. Thanks for the write, which I share!

    • RogerSanchezJr profile image

      Roger A Sanchez Jr 

      6 years ago from Sequoyah County of Oklahoma

      God bless you too!

    • BlossomSB profile imageAUTHOR

      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 

      6 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      What a great idea! I like it. Thank you and may God bless you.

    • RogerSanchezJr profile image

      Roger A Sanchez Jr 

      6 years ago from Sequoyah County of Oklahoma

      I used to say that the word, "luck" is short for Lucifer, the angel who became Satan. It's best to Trust God all the way.

    • BlossomSB profile imageAUTHOR

      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 

      6 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      TawnieMarie: I think we all make that mistake at times and it's good for me to remind myself, too. We are truly blessed by God and may He bless you today especially.

    • TawnyMarie profile image

      Tawny 

      6 years ago from Inver Grove Heights, MN

      This is a very interesting point of view...one I will admit that I have never thought of before. I have never believed in "good luck" or "bad luck" and I am not a superstitious person, but I do tend to make the common mistake of not giving credit where it is due! Thank you for reminding me to pay attention to the true blessings in my life.

    • BlossomSB profile imageAUTHOR

      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 

      6 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      FSlovenec: All good things come from God is so true. And we can learn so much from things that seem to us not so good, too. Thank you for your comments.

    • FSlovenec profile image

      Frank Slovenec 

      6 years ago from San Francisco, CA

      Well said! There is no luck all good things come from God. Depending on anything else than God is demonic. Thank you

    • BlossomSB profile imageAUTHOR

      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 

      6 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      indymichelle: Thank you for sharing that. God is so great and we have so much to be thankful for. God bless you.

    • indymichelle profile image

      Michelle Hannel 

      6 years ago from Southport, Indiana

      I personally give God the credit for EVERYTHING in my life. My daughter was born at 24 weeks and did very well. People alway say how "lucky" she is...I correct them reminding them how blessed we are.

    • BlossomSB profile imageAUTHOR

      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 

      6 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      teacherjoe52: That is wonderful that you completely trust Jesus in your daily walk.

      Jackie Lynnley: The four-leaf clovers are interesting, as they're different from the norm. I once had a climbing rose that produced a 'sport' and managed to grow it, so I had a different rose I was proud of. When we moved I took it with me, but sadly it died. It really is better to spend time with God.

      coffeegginmyrice: I agree. Thinking positively is always a good idea.

      quicksand: May God bless you, too.

      shara63: That was an interesting Urdu couplet. It's true that God knows our needs, even before we're aware of them ourselves.

      always exploring: Thank you. I'm glad you enjoyed it.

      teaches12345: You're right, it is shallow, but so is lots of human thought. We're all on different stages of the journey of life and there is so much to learn to help us along the way. God bless you and thank you for your vote.

      shiningirisheyes: I'm so glad you knew it already. We almost all celebrate St. Patrick's Day without knowing what goes behind it, and that's the important part. Thank you for your blessing. May God bless you, too.

      Janhorner: Yes, we often just quote a word or phrase that seems to be the thing to say, but without really thinking about what it means. I think most of us do that and it helps if we can stop and consider how it comes over and may influence the recipient.

    • profile image

      Janhorner 

      6 years ago

      Interesting article about one word! It's strange, and I never thought about it before but I say exactly what you have written in certain circumstances, but it is just a 'word.' Makes you think, brilliant, and I love the history you have shared. Voted up,

      Jan

    • shiningirisheyes profile image

      Shining Irish Eyes 

      6 years ago from Upstate, New York

      Bravo my friend!

      My Nana ( from County Cork, Ireland) told me the REAL story of St. Patrick when I was a wee one and I never forgot the true meaning of the shamrock.

      Blessings to you my dear.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 

      6 years ago

      I never use the phrase "good luck" when listening to some one in need, or encouraging them. It is a shallow phrase. Blessings are real and have substance to them, based upon truth. Great reflection and so very well writtten. Voted up and shared.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      6 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello Blossom, This is a lovely piece. Thank you for the share..Good Luck!!

    • shara63 profile image

      Farhat 

      6 years ago from Delhi

      There is an Urdu couplet...that says ...."Make yourself so strong & determined that even before you attemt, God himself comes and asks about your wish and He fulfils it."

      it proves that, our attempts with strong determination makes our own Luck & we are called successful...and God helps those who help themselves only..No Good luck Charms or such any thing in this world adds to our luck but our Efforts with complete Faith in God!

      Thankyou BlossomSB, for a very Good and informative Hub on a genuine topic of building reforms and awareness among people!

    • quicksand profile image

      quicksand 

      6 years ago

      Some people identify a blessing as a stroke of luck. I would prefer to say that I was blessed with a stroke of luck whenever I am lucky!

      Cheers, and be blessed with good luck! :)

    • coffeegginmyrice profile image

      Marites Mabugat-Simbajon 

      6 years ago from Toronto, Ontario

      My recall my younger brother telling me: "Why do people think about "something bad" is going to happen? Why not just think that "something good" is going to happen." The good energies will flow easy that includes confidence, determination and welcoming acceptance. Then, pure luck is not just good, but great!

      Wonderful read this hub is, BlossomSB!

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 

      6 years ago from The Beautiful South

      I have a house full of four leaf clovers but I don't put an ounce of faith in them. They just seem to draw my eye walking along. No I think God is all we need and better time spent looking for.

    • teacherjoe52 profile image

      teacherjoe52 

      6 years ago

      Good morning Blossom.

      It is actually quite funny here jusy how people are, yet laugh at me when I explain I rely completly on Jesus to guide my daily walk.

      God bless you.

    • BlossomSB profile imageAUTHOR

      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 

      6 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      Alphagirl: Having lived in an Asian country, I do understand, but I'm not sure how we can create good luck. I think it's better to rely on God.

      Faith Reaper: "Boasting in the Lord" stories - what a great idea. Thank you for your great comments and vote. When I was going for an exam my Mother never wished me Good Luck, but "I hope the paper suits you."

      Frank Atanacio: Ha! It really is difficult to leave those sayings out of our speech and thoughts.

      Lipnancy: And when we make that call we really will be blessed by God. I'm glad you enjoyed it.

      Gypsy Rose Lee: It is true. Relying on His guidance is so important. Thank you for passing it on and God bless you, too.

      Larry Wall: Yes. Although we don't like it, even bad things can end up being a blessing as they can teach us important lessons. If we use common sense, intelligence and good judgement, it is no longer just left to chance or accidental. As you wrote, we are then using God's gifts to influence the outcome.

      drmiddlebrook: God bless you for your lovely comments; I smiled at your last one, 'at its roots'! It's not easy to keep that focus, but the rewards are great.

    • profile image

      Marcia Ours 

      6 years ago

      Amen! It isn't really luck. God blesses everyone so much, even if they aren't believers, and a lot of people just don't recognize or realize it!

      Marcia Ours

    • drmiddlebrook profile image

      Sallie B Middlebrook PhD 

      6 years ago from Texas, USA

      Really good information, BlossomSB, and useful. I think it is a great reminder that we often rely on things that take our minds off God, when we need to keep it focused on Him. Thanks so much. I never really knew anything about St. Patrick, and now I know he was a Christian who was trying to use the clover leaf to teach people about God. Leave it to mankind to undo his lesson, at its roots.

    • profile image

      Larry Wall 

      6 years ago

      I am in full agreement with you. Many people believe in Good Luck, but blame God for the bad things. Any blessings we received, no matter how small, are from God and have nothing to do with luck.

      Granted, common sense, using your intelligence and using good judgment, can help you achieve a goal which you might call luck. But all of those traits are gifts from God.

    • Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

      Gypsy Rose Lee 

      6 years ago from Riga, Latvia

      Voted up. So very true. Never let go of faith and trust in the Lord and let Him guide you each day. God bless. Passing this on.

    • Lipnancy profile image

      Nancy Yager 

      6 years ago from Hamburg, New York

      I enjoyed this hub very much. I must confess that I think that we make our good luck by the positive attitudes and generous actions that we do everyday. No action is too small, it may be just calling our elderly aunt to see how she is.

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 

      6 years ago from Shelton

      you know it's just my luck I never think of things like this.. I was scrolling new hubs and found this wonderful read.. I guess it was the luck of the draw.. nonetheless this was inetresting lucky I found this piece today.. :)

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 

      6 years ago from southern USA

      Yes, Amen on this one Blossom!!! And once He takes us through whatever He would have us go through, praising Him along the path, that is when I love to write my "Boasting in the Lord" stories, as we will face many trials of many kind, and we should not be surprised by this, as He tells us in His Word, the active and living Holy Bible. He will never forsake us or leave us, and we should claim all of His promises, and give all honor, glory and praise to Him, as we know He is not a liar. We are blessed beyond measure, to God be the glory, to Him and Him alone!!! Christians should not even think anything about "luck" as there really is no such thing, but God's many blessings, even just taking one breath each morning is a great blessing. Voted Way Up to the Heavens, except funny. God bless. In His Love, Faith Reaper

    • alphagirl profile image

      alphagirl 

      6 years ago from USA

      An interesting observation! I know Asians think of good luck all the time! It is cultural to create good luck and to think in terms of goodlluck! It starts with our intent! I wish you luck!

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