Yesterday at church the pastor told a story about some neighbors of his when he lived in another state. One family had their house up for sale, and another family gave them a little statue of a saint to bury in their backyard, saying that if they did so their house would sell faster. My pastor found out about it when he went over one day to say hi to the lady selling her house and she had the saint in a ziploc bag. She informed him that it didn’t work, which was why she had just dug it back up.
On the one hand, wouldn’t it be nice if it had worked and all you had to do to sell your house was bury the statue of a saint in the backyard?
But on the other hand, I am so very glad that it didn’t work. Why? Well, think about it. If it did have the power to work, I think that there would be a lot more you’d need to know. Does it work best if you bury the statue right-side-up or upside-down? Or maybe he should lay down. Where in your backyard would be the best place to bury it? What would happen if you buried it in the front yard? Would that make the house never sell? How would you find these things out? What if your dog had buried a bone in the backyard? Would that cancel out the effects of the statue of the saint?
We can so easily buy into things that promise the “easy way out,” or a “quick fix.” Sometimes those things are valid, but often they lead us into bondage, always trying things and never quite making it work right.
That kind of bondage is the way that millions of people around the world live. It is a major part of animism, a religious belief held widely around the world in which people believe that they have to appease and manipulate spirits to get anywhere. While Jesus came 2000 years ago to give us freedom from that kind of bondage (John 8:36), there are still millions (if not billions) of people who have yet to hear that they no longer have to live in fear. Who is going to tell them that there’s a better way?
“They even say that Papa God loves us. Is it even possible? – a god that loves me?” Nugara of the Bagwido tribe, Papua New Guinea