The other evening I was asked if I'd seen any moose on the trail on my first camping trip. I said I didn't see any except for a cow and a calf who were well off the trail and moving away. I went on to say that I hadn't had any trouble with the Alaskan moose - they got out of the way quite well, better than ours at home. In fact, I've seen less moose up here than I usually see at home during a season! What was said by a couple people, at the same time, immediately after I'd finished speaking is what I found myself examining during my camping trip yesterday: "Knock on wood," accompanied by a quick knock on the table or whatever wood object they were close to.
I've heard this phrase a lot since I came up here and yesterday I got to thinking about it: Knock on wood. Is it just a harmless saying or is it a misguided placement of our hopes? And, as a Christian, how should I respond when it is used with belief?
As a Christian, I'm not left to place my hope in a superstitious saying and action. The reason I've been kept safe during my sojourn in Alaska is because God has been watching over me. Proverbs 15:3 says: The eyes of the Lord are everywhere, watching the evil and the good.
There are hundreds of situations that could have turned bad, but His protecting hand has always been there, shielding me from harm. When you stop to think about it, it's pretty ridiculous to think that a piece of wood is going to take action on my behalf against a charging moose. I suppose I could throw it at the moose, but somehow I doubt that would help the situation! I am so grateful that even in the midst of trouble, my Savior is right there with me. I love 1 Peter 5:7 which reminds me to: Throw all your anxieties upon Him, because He cares about you.
And then I soberly realized that, by remaining silent when this phrase was used, wasn't I passively agreeing? How should I, as a Christian, respond? By remaining silent I failed to share God's truth to those who may never have considered His Providence. I made a mistake... Mark 8:38: For if someone is ashamed of Me and of what I say in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man also will be ashamed of him when He comes in His Father's glory with the holy angels.
My conclusion, then, was that I should've said, "It was by God's grace," or (I always like dramatic, eloquent speeches!), "I'm content to consign myself to the watchful care of Almightly Providence..." as a response to the misguided phrase of, "Knock on wood."
If you entrust all you do to the Lord,
your plans will achieve success.
- Proverbs 16:3
The name of the Lord is a strong tower;
a righteous person runs to it and is raised high above danger.
- Proverbs 18:10
And here's some pictures from yesterday's campout...