This has been a very good semester, but the past few weeks I've been blue and unmotivated following my mother-in-law's death in November. So beginning today, I look forward to a few weeks off, which I'll spend grading, writing, getting ready for the spring semester, and having extra family time.
A few years ago, I looked up the long words for the phobias associated with Friday the 13th. Tristadecaphobia is the fear of the number 13, and paraskavedecatriaphobia is the fear of this particular day.
I was thinking about phobias recently. My own mom died fourteen months ago, and that old saying "things happen in threes" came to mind. What if something else bad is upcoming? That is foolish, post hoc thinking, but when a person is feeling emotionally sensitive, it's easy to become anxious.
We speak informally of things like luck, fate, jinxes, and karma. We don’t always stop to think that, if God is our Lord, we are not subject to such things! We may still have serious questions about why things happen the way they do. But God cares for us and guides us across our years. God calls us not to lose heart at life’s hazards but, instead, to focus on his love and care. God's Holy Spirit teaches and matures us. God’s plans and purposes may not always be clear, and sometimes we may feel quite "unlucky." But even those awful times may become seasons across which God provides.