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Success and happiness as a New Year begins has been the goal of countless men and women throughout the centuries. In a world of superstition and ignorance men have believed that success and happiness depended upon luck and fortune. History supplies some very interesting examples.

BABYLONIANS considered it a good omen for the king to weep on New Year's Day. So on this day, removing his robe and crown, the king would kneel in the temple and weep while confessing his sins.

ROMANS worshipped Janus, the god of beginning and ending with two faces, one looking back and the other looking forward. Thus, every person must review his past and consider his future on this day.

IRANIANS gave eggs as presents, symbolizing new life and future hope.

ENGLISH people felt a chimney sweep would "wipe the slate clean." Also, the first one drinking from a well on New Year's Day was sure to have good luck.

SCOTS believed good luck would come to a house if the first person entering after midnight was a dark-haired person. Bad luck if a woman, criminal or red-haired person should enter first.

GERMANS felt one's actions on New Year's Day would determine his actions throughout the year; therefore, dressing up and being on one's best behavior was very important.

SPANIARDS believed a gold coin in the pocket on this day would mean that person would have money all year.

Of course everybody knows, especially SOUTHERNERS, that eating black-eyed peas, hog jowl, and cabbage on New Year's Day will result in good luck all year long.

There are many people who believe in these New Year's Day superstitions, not to mention the thousands of other superstitious things people believe in (i.e., the number 13, walking under a ladder, etc.). As we begin a New Year, why not put these things in their proper perspective and rely on the promises of God. For instance, Jesus says in Matthew 28:20, "I am with you always, even to the end of the age. " Hebrews 13:5 tells us, "I will never leave you nor forsake you. " I Corinthians 10:13 reminds us, "No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it. " And then there is Romans 8:28, "And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God to those who are the called according to His purpose. " Well, we could go on and on. But, I hope you get the point. Why not trust in promises instead of superstitions?

For His Cause,
Tim Woodward