Posts tagged ‘Superstition’

November 11, 2011

Disorder #2: Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

Disclaimer: refer to previous post here

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Cellphone in the right-front pocket.  Keys in the left-front, with lanyard hanging outwards.  Wallet in the right-rear pocket.  Miscellaneous item in the left-rear pocket (e.g. pack of gum, piece of scrap paper I wrote a memo on, tissue, etc.).  The only exception: when I’m wearing a blazer or suit, wallet goes inside the inner-left jacket pocket (makes my butt look less lop-sided).  That’s the way it’s always been, at least since sophomore year in high school, when I had a cellphone or set of keys to carry around.  If they’re ever not in that order, something feels “off” and I won’t be able to go anywhere unless it’s fixed.  If any one of them is missing, I feel naked.  Before I leave to go out, I do the “Four Pat Method”: pat on right-front pocket, pat on left-front, pat on right butt cheek, pat on left butt cheek, in that order…*pat* *pat* *pat* *pat*… check, check, check, and check, ready to go.

All my books on my bookshelf are organized by either last name of the author, genre of the book, and/or the semester I used them for here in seminary (I didn’t own many books before coming to Gordon besides all seven Harry Potter’s).

All items on my desk are placed in a manner so that all straight edges are parallel or perpendicular to one another, in proximity for level of productivity with my chair as the focal point.

All my cash bills in my wallet (not many) are ordered from least to greatest, facing the same way in the same direction.  I don’t like having my presidents’ faces kissing one another.

“Trip A” on my car’s odometer is for gauging between oil changes, while “Trip B” is used to gauge between gas fill-ups.  After every trip to the gas station, I always make sure to fill up the tank to full.  That way, when I print out the receipt, I record the number of miles traveled during that stint, divide that by the number of gallons filled, and come out with an “Actual/Observed Miles per Gallon Ratio” for my car.  Toyota telling me my Camry averages 20mpg in the city and 30mpg on the highway is too big of a range.  I am currently averaging 25.6mpg.

For many other people, OCD may manifest itself in the form of superstition.  Baseball players are notorious for being some of the most superstitious athletes, if not human beings, in the world.  Curses and pre-game rituals are a way of life.  Baseball fans flip their caps inside-out in the late innings when their team is losing, thinking that these “rally caps” will make a difference in the outcome of the game.

If you’re Korean, you might celebrate the manufactured holiday of Pepero Day (today being the ultimate Pepero Day of 11/11/11).  I have a friend who sets a daily alarm for 11:11 so that he can make a wish.  See a shooting star, toss a coin into the fountain, blow out your birthday candles… then make a wish.  Don’t walk under a ladder, break a mirror, or see a black cat… that’s bad luck.  If relate with any of these, you adhere to some form of superstition.

Gospel Connection: Human beings were given a divine mandate to rule over the Creation (Gen.1:27-31).  It’s in our nature to exercise control.  But often times this spills over to more than it should, even when it comes to circumstances we have no control over.  We begin to micro-manage every facet of our lives, and then add superstition on top of that.  We want to be able to say that we had some part of whatever happened that was considered significant.  We want to be in a position of power.  We want to play God.

The only man ever to claim to be God and prove it was Christ himself.  In a society where power rules and control is the only currency with which to bargain with, Jesus humbled himself to the point of utter humility and powerlessness on the Cross.  To everyone’s surprise, the Resurrection ousted Death; the ultimate equalizer was equalized.  Where no man could ever have dominion over, Jesus Christ did by means of weakness.

In what ways do you need to relent your control?  In what ways is God calling you to exercise control?  Does this apply to you at all?