Monday morning I was sitting in my den, drowsily watching a replay of the NASCAR race from Kansas, when I was shocked from my stupor by images of the flaming number 10 car of Danica Patrick.
She got caught up in a fiery wreck with Joey Logano and Aric Almirola, the latter who plowed into them from 10 positions back. All three cars were engulfed in a brief inferno. Thankfully, today’s race car is built for safety and includes fire retardant material.
Patrick and Logano escaped injury, but Amirola had to be cut out his car and taken to the hospital. He suffered a broken vertebrae in his back, but wasn’t torched.
Repeated clips of the collision showed Logano clipping Danica from behind after his brakes failed, sending her into a spin which put her into the track wall. Thus, the incident wasn’t her fault.
The only female driver in the Monster Cup series, Danica is always at the focal point of media attention. It doesn’t hurt that’s she’s “hot” either. (Not my words. Those of her boyfriend and fellow driver Rickey Stenhouse, although I agree. He also has said that she can cook.)
So of course the Fox Sports people talked Patrick afterward about the accident.
“I just don’t understand why so much bad luck happens,” she said.
Danica told her interviewer she couldn’t believe a brake rotor designed to withstand a lot of pressure could cause her demise. The rotor had broken on Logano’s car, causing him to lose control and smack her.
“Why?” she asked in dismay at her misfortune. “What else can I say?
“On the other hand, I was having a really good night and that’s what makes me the MOST mad…is that every time I’m doing better something STUPID happens. It’s just killing me.”
Patrick talked about her sense of foreboding over her repeated accidents on the NASCAR circuit.
After wishing Almirola well, she said, “One of these times one of these accidents is not going to go good for me. I’ve been very fortunate so far. One of these times it’s not going to go well.”
Danica isn’t the only one worried about her future. Danny Peters of Frontstretch.com wonders if she is done.
“All told, Danica has no wins, no top-5’s, a measly six top-10 runs and just 57 laps led in 165 races across six seasons. Put another way, her results don’t match her level of equipment – not by any stretch of the imagination
“My overwhelming takeaway to what was, to be fair, a ‘heat of the moment’ response? This will be her last season.”
I hope Danica doesn’t quit. She’s still young for a NASCAR driver (age 35) and is fast. But if she believes she is cursed, maybe she will, or perhaps she will get fired because of her self-fulfilling prophecy about her “bad luck”.
I don’t know whether Danica is correct about her personal driver’s curse or not. Good men disagree on whether our troubles can be caused by God, the devil or other humans invoking doom upon us.
In the hit TV show “Frasier”, the series’ namesake and his fellow psychiatrist brother Niles have a discussion about whether or not “destiny” conspires against his success every time his high school reunion comes around.
Niles tells Frasier his concerns are “folderol”. Frasier disagrees.
“Every time my reunion comes around it results in a severe downturn in my life,” says Frasier. He notes that his reunion has coincided with his being dumped at the altar, his divorce, and falling into a patch of poison ivy. Now that the reunion is again nigh, he is sure it was the cause of a recent job loss at the radio station where he hosted a call-in show.
Furthermore, Frasier believes he will not get a new job he will interview for in the next few minutes because of the reunion.
“How can you know that?” Niles asks.
“Because Destiny won’t allow it,” replies Niles.”I feel like I have a curse on my head.”
Niles seeks to reassure his brother and convince him of the folly of his position.
“Frasier, you are a man of science. You know curses don’t exist. There’s a perfectly rational explanation for all of this. You tripped and fell into poison ivy; your radio station changed formats; your wife didn’t love you.
“The only reason why you’re giving credence to this curse mumbo-jumbo is because you’re nervous about your job interview.”
As a Christian, I am interested in my faith’s point of view on the existence of curses. But again, as Michael H. Brown indicates in his article “Are there Really Such Things as Curses: Can someone affect you by what they say or think?”, there is even disagreement among believers in Jesus:
“It’s a controversial aspect of Christianity. Some say they see no biblical basis for it. Others argue that there are repeated references to just such a thing from Genesis through the New Testament — not only from God, Who is often mentioned in the way of cursing sinful men, but also the curses of others. In Proverbs it says that a curse without cause can not have an effect but implies that there is indeed such a thing and that it can come from others.”
Where I think Brown may be on target is in his belief that we can afflict others with great evil even if we don’t mean to.
“Knowingly or unknowingly, we have all cursed others,” he says. “When we dislike someone, and worst of all, when we hate a person, it’s like throwing a spiritual dagger.
“And it can have physical results. In some cases people take sick (think of the term ‘ill will’), and often we find ourselves in frustrating bondages. No matter what we do, we can’t succeed. We can’t make ends meet. We can’t finish a job.We can’t succeed at school. We can’t find good relationships. We can’t reach peace in our families.”
Brown notes that the reversals people encounter are mostly due to the normal suffering of life, but he thinks “there are occasions when it’s because of ill will.”
“The fact that we can curse people without even knowing it is why we’re called to constantly control not only what we say, but what we THINK.”.
That’s a tall order. As someone who wants to use words to influence people for good, I know I need to do better at reigning in my speech towards others. I concur with one of Brown’s associates, a minister named Victoria, who says that “words are power.”
“When we call someone dumb or bad or ugly,we can be casting a real shadow on them,” she says.
Perhaps Frasier carried around such a cloud of condemnation with him due to his school days. He was known as the “Bryce Crier” and throughout the series it was clear he was bullied in school.
Yesterday as I viewed the blue/green ocean surf I cringed at the name calling I have engaged in during my own life. I regretted my own ill will toward others, also.
In a time of prayer I asked God to forgive me and to take away my curses. What is more, I asked Him to negate the curses put forth against me.
I wanted to do something to symbolize my request and to demonstrate that I was serious about repenting of my loose tongue and heart. Therefore, I began to think how I could make a spiritual landmark at my spot on the shore.
Given that the place was rocky and had no trees or large boulders where I could leave permanent graffiti, I decided to do what tourists do: I took a souvenir. Instead of seashell (there were none anyway), I picked up a rock that looked different than the rest.
I am convinced there is spiritual evil at work today despite the dismissal of such things by so-called “modern” man, especially people in the secular media .
No, I don’t look for the devil behind every rock, I just don’t want to be the source of someone’s . Would that we all learn to keep our mouths shut and our emotions in check. The world might be a better place if we did.