When you think of March, chances are you will think of St. Patrick’s Day. And if you think of St. Patrick’s Day, you’ll probably think of four-leaf clovers. And if you think of four-leaf clovers, you’ll undoubtedly start humming the funky keyboard intro to Stevie Wonder’s 1972 chart-topper “Superstition” even if you’re only 14 years old because you’ve most definitely heard it in approximately 8,592 TV commercials since you were born. But let’s be honest for a moment. And frank. And serious. Seriously, honestly, frank with one another: Superstitions are the devil’s handiwork. Or handmaiden. Maybe both, the original Hebrew is a bit cloudy as I have no education in reading the ancient script. Still, we (just the two of us, really) can agree that superstitions take the place of both faith and logic and often lead to binge scratch-off buying and subsequent chucking of one’s lucky penny into the nearest fountain and huffing off in disgust after, of course, making a wish. They are at best silly and at worst dangerous (ask your mom about her back if you dare, crack-stepper). But even though we, the Enlightened Christian Masses, know we should cast aside such gobbledygook like so much salt over one’s shoulder, we nonetheless cling to certain beliefs and ritualistic behaviors we would otherwise say pish tosh to if Bob the Neighborhood Druid espoused them. Some are based on tradition. Some are based on good-time-rock-n-rolla-new-fangled-feel-good Xiantity Lite (now with 98% less guilt). All are whack. Bible Codes – Did you know that there’s a secret code hidden within the manuscript of God’s Word that will tell you how to get rich without the help of Dave Ramsey? Or one that explains exactly how the Last Days will play out and includes many references to a K’irk K’am’er’on? Perhaps you’ve heard about the code that reveals aliens really did land in Roswell, New Mexico and caused the area population to experience universal numbness in their left buttocks? All of these so-called revelatory codes exist, although I admit to swiping the buttock thing from “Best in Show.” People. If you want to make money, work and save. If you want to know how the world will end, wait. And if you want to know about Area 51, stream some “X-Files” episodes off of Netflix. What You Read is What You Get – There’s a tendency among the flock to believe that every passage of their Get Through the Bible in a Year Give or Take a Decade Plan was foreordained by The Supreme Editor of Life instead of a junior editor at Tyndale. Did you read the Parable of the Talents this morning? Obviously, you should invest in those penny stocks your brother-in-law was pushing right after you run to QuikTrip for some scratch-offs and taquitos. Besides, just what action, exactly, are you supposed to infer from Numbers Chapter 5 detailing the census of the Kohathites? Trick question. The Kohathite census takes place in Chapter 4. King James or Bust – You know who you are. You grew up in an exceptionally fundamental Baptist church. School was something you attended between going to church Sunday morning, Sunday night, Wednesday night and an Approved Youth Group Activity on Saturday night that in no way involved dancing or card playing (get thee behind me, Uno!). You wore a lot of slacks. And your translation of choice? The Original KJV. Because we all know the KJV is as inspired as the original autographs except, you know, in 17th-century English. And the best way to understand God’s Word is to not actually be able to understand the words in it. That’s how you know the Holy Spirit is at work. Besides, opting for something as “new age” as the New American Standard will just get you thrown in with the Stryper fans. And don’t getteth me started on The Message, hippie. Bar Codes and RFID Chips – Anything that can be used to track packages, pricing or inventory can also be used to track Soylent Green. Which is people. So if there’s one thing pre-tribbers, mid-tribbers, post-tribbers and no-tribbers alike can agree on, it’s that QR codes are, if not quite the Mark of the Beast, at the very least the Mark of a Marketing Manager Run Amok and are best avoided. Because if walking under a ladder nets 7 years bad luck, scanning a QR code will net you 70 years of spam. Prayer Positions – You know, Timmy, God doesn’t listen to little boys who don’t have their heads bowed and eyes closed. But did you also know, young Master Tim, that the Lord listens just a little more intently to those who are on their knees? Indeed. But, and don’t go spreading this around Sunday School, the real way to speed your praises and petitions from your lips directly to God’s ears is to go full-on prostrate. Kiss the floor, my boy. A mouth full of shag is like whispering to the Lord’s heart. Amen. God Willing – How many times have you heard someone, possibly yourself, utter a statement about future plans and then follow it up with a hearty “God willing”? Though rooted in James chapter 4, this statement has become the Christian equivalent to knocking on wood. As if by giving lip service to the notion that our futures lie entirely within God’s hands, we will in fact ensure that our preferred plans will come to pass. “Going to get a hair cut on Saturday, God willing.” “Heading upstairs to lance this boil, God willing.” “We’ll find something rated TV-G any second now, God willing.” Just stop. Like many facets of our faith, the lesson in James has more to do with our attitudes than our phraseology. Cross my heart and hope to die. Same Bat-Time, Same Bat-Pew – These are the Items of Great Tragedy that shall befall you if thou dare sit in a different location than your regularly selected sanctified seating: You shall get the stink eye from Mrs. Fluggleman because you’ve taken her preferred place of pewage. Your posterior will not fit the indentations of the unfamiliar cushioning, leading to chafing. The pastor will mistake you for a new member. You will have to exchange the Holy Hand of Fellowship with an actual visitor. And, omniscience be darned, God will be unable find you and mark you as present on his Eternal Roll of Attendance. Oh, the horrors. The horrors. So this week, try to let go of your not-quite-biblical behavioral quirks. Pray in the shower (don’t worry, it doesn’t count as baptism by sprinkling). Park in a different space at church (both your car and your person). Let the kids have some Lucky Charms for breakfast without worrying about it setting them on the road to Uncle Anton’s House of Wings and Occults. Instead of singing The Doxology before dinner, try Petra’s “This Means War.” It’ll be a blessing (assuming grandma survives the shock), which beats luck any day.