In the parsonage kitchen, I put up a horseshoe that points down. Some friends and family have warned me that such means my “luck” will run out. Actually, custom is such that a horseshoe can be displayed either way. I’m mostly of German descent and there seems to be some sentiment among that nationality to have the horseshoe point down so that the luck poors down or out on you.
But all of this misses the point with me. I don’t believe in luck, good or bad, just odds and probabilities. If I ever believed in luck, such ended when at age 11, no amount of rubbing a rabbit’s foot allowed me to ditch my ugly black plastic frame glasses. I can have a sense of humor about luck, though. After all, when I eat at a Chinese cuisine restaurant I usually read the fortune in the cookie, perhaps as a form of amusement. Luck seems related to fate, which I also don’t believe in because it doesn’t fit into my understanding of God’s grace, design and purposes.
Odds. Yes, I believe in those, which means sometimes we “beat” them and sometimes we don’t. In my life, I’ve been pulled over by police or state troopers probably close to 20 times. I’ve never received a ticket. Why not? The fact that I’m very polite and answer questions courteously helps. The fact that my speeding violations were all for less than 15 mph over the limit helps too. Also that I don’t drive a flashy car and that I am not a person of color. Regarding the latter, I do think that minorities fare worse with traffic stops under similar circumstances.
So why did I put the horseshoe up? As a kid, I always wanted a horse. My mother used to give me “horse” things, such as playing cards with horse photos, or metal horses for display on a shelf. But more than that, the horseshoe was a Christmas gift from my younger brother back in the early 1970’s. It reminds me of the great value in love among siblings. I’m “lucky” to have a wonderful sister and two terrific brothers.