Three or Four Leafed Clover
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.'
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.
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.
The Bible and Christianity
- A Meditation on Psalm 32 - Taizé Style
A meditation for Lent that combines Psalm 32, prose and poetry. When we pray to be forgiven God cleanses us from sin and surrounds us with His love now and for all eternity.
- How to Say Grace
We should know the difference between prayers before meals and saying grace. Grace before meals is a very old tradition and the article looks at the genre and some of its history, concluding that Christians should always thank God for our food.
- Billy Graham's Australian Crusades 1959
1959 heralded a change in the life of our family, but that year also brought the Billy Graham Crusade to Australia for the first time. It was the catalyst for change for many Australians as they made a commitment to give their lives to Jesus.
- How Can We Keep Sundays Holy?
The Fourth Commandment tells us to take a day of rest, but we rarely seem to find time to do this. Rest is as important for our spiritual and physical well-being as rests are in music as they contribute to the harmony.
- Communication in a Changing World
Distance communication began in prehistoric times and some of these methods have continued almost until present times. Communication developed slowly over the centuries, but more recently, perhaps beginning with the printing press it has escalated.
- Forgiveness and Spiritual Health
The article defines, looks at and compares forgiveness in the Old Testament and the New Testament. When we do wrong we must ask for and accept God's forgiveness, forgive those who wrong us and forgive ourselves if we are to attain spiritual health.
- Bible Storytelling by The Backyard Bards at CMS Summer Under the Son
At the Church Missionary Society's Summer Conference we heard Bible storytelling by a group called The Backyard Bards. It was dramatic, passionate and mind-blowing. We heard Bible passages as we had never heard them before and will never forget.