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Psychic’s nightmare headline

Ok, so I know that newspapers like to make their headlines as punchy and provocative as possible, but the whole story bears this one out. From last week’s Independent:

“Axing came out of blue, says radio psychic”

According to the paper, “PSYCHIC Una Power, who hosted the 'Psychic Zone' programme on Dublin's 98 since November 1996, said she didn't see it coming when the station's management abruptly cut her hours and then cancelled the show after 12 years on air.”

While it’s not nice to see someone lose their job, does anyone else see the supreme irony in this whole thing? “I didn’t see it coming” – isn’t that the whole point of her job, to see what’s coming? Surely if anyone should be unsurprised at losing their job it should be a psychic! Perhaps she didn’t read her stars that morning—“Beware of nasty men in suits who say it’s all over”.

It reminds me of the incident when Kelvin MacKenzie, former editor of The Sun, found the newspaper’s astrologer had been recycling his predictions; he sacked him with a letter that began: “As you will no doubt have foreseen...”!

It’s easy to poke fun, but for many this is a serious business. People genuinely believe this stuff is true; they base their lives around the predictions and unfounded ramblings of these soothsayers.

But why do people pay any heed to this stuff? I think part of the reason is the failure of modernity’s promises—of a life that can be lived without beliefs in external powers. And part of the reason is the failure to leave the pagan past behind.

Life isn’t simply about what happens from day to day. Something deep within us tells us that we are made for more than that, that there is has to be meaning in the random events of daily life. Modernity has no answer, so people reach for the ancient mystical remedies.

But the answer isn’t to be found there either. The answer is to be found, not in irrational, impersonal superstitions, but in a rational, personal God, who appeared in time and history giving sufficient evidence of the truth of his claims. And with him we find meaning to the seeming randomness of life, guidance for the difficult decisions of life, and a certainty about the afterlife. Unlike any astrologer, nothing comes out of the blue to God. And unlike any astrologer he offers to give his own life so that your future can be secured.