If you read my last post, you'll know that I have a big axe to grind with negative speech. So I thought I'd take a moment to address the old "Bad Things Come in Threes" superstition. I hear this a lot from people who should know better. Christian folks. They'll on one hand tell you that God is in control of their destiny; and then spout this preposterous adage when something bad happens to them (or you.)
If you aspire to this belief, I have a few questions for you...
1. When did you start counting? Have you tallied every bad thing that happens to you and organized them neatly into compartments of three?
2. What constitutes bad? A broken fingernail, a bad hairday, or a car wreck? If this law exists, who is the arbiter of the definition of what is bad?
3. How long must you wait for the threes to happen? Do you count something that happened last month, last week, or just yesterday?
4. How do you keep track of the cycle?
Here's why this saying irritates me so.
It makes people start to look over their shoulders for bad things to happen. Instead of looking for the blessings in life and having an attitude of gratitude for the abundance of good things they receive daily; their expectation becomes one of 'something bad is about to happen to me.'
I think it must be insulting to God. I mean really. His blessings so abound. We have food to spare, cars, jobs, healthy children, friends, bank accounts, freedom...the list is endless. But instead of being mindful of all of these things, we report that something bad is coming up the road. Why don't we count our blessings instead?
We actually create our own misery. There are many studies (secular and faith-based) that tell us that we are largely a product of our thoughts. Why, oh why, would you want to be expecting trouble?
When something bad does happen to someone; folks who believe this will often quote this saying. I'd rather not have this type of 'encouragement' when I'm struggling with something, thank you very much!
Let's look at some good 'threes'.
My three wonderful children.
Your skin. It has three layers. Many parts of our body are composed of three sections.
Waltzes. These most beautiful musical scores are written in 3/4 time. Remember learning to do the waltz...a one-two-three, one-two-three, one-two-three.
Still unconvinced? Read what the Bible says...
Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in bardn, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?...But Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness and all thes things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. Matthew 6: 25-34
The blessing of the Lord, it maketh rich; and he addeth no sorrow with it. Proverbs 10:22
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord; plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11
So relax. Uncross your fingers...stop knocking on wood...and don't worry about bad things coming your way. Start counting your blessings instead.