It was frigid and dark outside as I plopped on the edge of my bed fumbling with my best pair of game socks. The dim light in the tiny bedroom that I shared with my two big brothers was cast from the jelly jar fixture in the skinny hallway that struggled to reach me all of the nine feet away. I didn’t like the stark contrast of obnoxious light in the midst of blackness in the predawn hours. Still don’t.
I was up early and nervous about the game that afternoon as my mind raced and my stomach churned, “I wish I had new socks,” I thought to myself, but knew with my dad working out of town and my mom without a car, new socks would be the last thing on the agenda.
It didn’t even bother me that no one from my family would make it to my basketball game that night; less pressure. I just needed some new tube socks with the blue triple ring around the top that we pulled up to just under our kneecaps. Funny how culture dictates style… or lack of it…
I held the long tube sock up in the dim light not quite able to see what I was looking for. I felt my way down to the worn area of the fabric where my heel had pounded the sock threadbare in spots. I continued feeling my way around it until I found the least worn area of the sock and rotated it so that my heel had as much cushion as possible. I laced up my basketball shoes that doubled as my school shoes, stood, took a deep breath, blew it out and was off.
The day passed painfully slow, kinda the exact opposite of how they feel now, but eventually the day did grind away and the game and the butterflies were on and in me in full force. I can’t remember who we even played, but I remember we won. On top of that I had my highest scoring game and assists-uh-plenty. Peculiar how you never think of things like socks when you’re focused on a monumental task that requires concentration – a concentration that disappeared faster than a quarter from Houdini’s hand in the classroom.
There weren’t any new socks in my foreseeable future at the time, but I had a new perspective on the worn sock dilemma. The next game day I sat on the edge of the bottom bunk rotating the worn sock between my thumb and forefinger searching for the least worn spot.
I knew that I’d found one of the secrets to success in my new ritual. I’d wear the most padding of the sock on my heel area, put the right sock on first, and I’d have another breakout game… Even after the rest of that season not having as good a game as I was trying to recapture, I kept up the superstitious ritual to recapture the magic… that never came.
Funny how superstitious we can be. I still think about the supposed bad luck when I walk under a ladder… We take on the role of God by adding our own laws to the universe as if we have that power. Or we drink someone else’s Kool-aid believing that they know as much as the Being that created all of us and supplies the very power that allows life on this planet.
We want so desperately to have control and create our desired results that even as adults we fall into the trap of superstition and magic. Ignoring the True supernatural Power that resides in heaven, earth, and inside of us… and that Source is infinitely more powerful than how we might wear our worn out socks… or if we step on sidewalk cracks…