Since we're speaking about spirituality and striving to mature into our God-given potential, it's helpful to examine our lives for things that have crept into our daily habits and can really keep us from God. One example of this is psychics, mediums and other superstitious practices. These have become an accepted part of pop culture, but you should consider how these influences may affect you and your faith life before you set your DVR or read what's in the stars.
As a teen, I would occasionally read horoscopes but I was never into any fortune-seeking escapades. Frankly, I thought it was all kind of silly. Then I worked with high school students in Belize for two years where we discovered a lot of superstition and witchcraft as we built relationships and spent more time in the community.
Some of these ideas were comical -- like the belief that cracking an egg over a baby's head would "drive out evil spirits" and relieve colic -- but other experiences were more disturbing, like the times that the local witch doctor would stand outside the school and wave his hands around or people would enter the church and perform strange rituals that were not part of our Catholic tradition. Our priests would recount even scarier instances of being called to minister to people whose actions sounded like something straight from a horror movie, like speaking in strange voices and demonstrations of superhuman strength that they would use against anyone who tried to help them.
These experiences changed my casual approach to the supernatural. I had previously held this notion that all this superstitious stuff was a bit of a joke -- harmless entertainment for people up late when the Psychic Friend's advertisements played. However, the reality is this: There is a God who loves you and communicates to you through Scripture, prayer and the counsel of others. He does not communicate through horoscopes, mediums, fortune tellers or whoever else is on the latest reality show.
Understanding this, consider the consequences of seeking to communicate, spiritually, with the unknown. At best, you've lost valuable time and $1.99 a minute succumbing to late-night TV. However, the greater danger is that you're communicating with something that is unknown and allowing it to influence you. Consider the story of the demoniacs in Scripture. When the demon was cast into a herd of swine, it drove them into an ocean and they all drowned (Matthew 8:31-34). There are evil beings who are literally seeking your destruction. Why set out the welcome mat?
So what does one do with the desire to know more about the future? The uncertainties of life and death can be harrowing and when we're seeking consolation or even just entertainment, the temptation can be to look for fast and easy answers. However, Scripture is pretty clear on forbidding fortune tellers, mediums and other attempts at divination (just check out Deuteronomy 18:10 or Jeremiah 29:8).
The answer to the future is faith -- and recognizing that while we may not fully understand it, we can trust the plan of God. He assured the prophet Jeremiah, "I know well the plans I have in mind for you ... plans for your welfare, not for woe! Plans to give you a future full of hope. When you call me, when you pray to me, I will listen to you" (Jeremiah 29:11-12).
When we're anxious about unknowns we can be certain that as a loving parent, God will reveal what we need to know when we're ready to know it. Instead of looking to the unknown for quick entertainment, form habits of prayer for lasting peace.