The older I get the less I enjoy this time of the year. It seems that the shows leading up to the week before Halloween, on TV and in the theatre, are way more violent and scarier than ever. What once seemed like the scariest movie ever in days gone by, like “The Blob” for example, are nothing and even funny compared to say… “Saw 2”. I can’t even watch the commercials! Every show out there right now seems to be so incredibly full of fear.
The Bible says that “faith comes by hearing” so isn’t it natural to say that “fear (also) comes by hearing”. My parents used to say this all the time, “Garbage in ~ Garbage out”. What we sow our time into – we will reap. Why people can sit and watch horror flicks I have no idea – even less when they allow their children to watch it and justify it by saying, “it’s only a movie” or, “it’s Hollywood (make-believe)“. To me it just desensitizes you and opens the door to the only thing I believe the devil has to use against us…. FEAR.
As each year goes by the less I want anything to do with Halloween. At first when my kids were little I wanted them to go “Trick or Treating” and it had a little to do with the fact that I was not allowed to growing up. I wanted to re-live my childhood vicariously through them. After all what’s the big deal – they have fun and it’s free candy…
A couple of years ago I was reading Romans 12:2 over and over again, it was around this time of the year and it struck me. Halloween was a world’s holiday that I numbly slipped into. The Message puts that verse this way, (2a)“Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking.”
Another instance that has helped me in this decision: In our home we host exchange students from around the world and each year with a new student we have to explain this “festive” time of year. They don’t understand it at all. Many are coming from China and the thought of kids dressing up as things that are represented in death – scares the crap out them quick frankly. The idea of not respecting the dead is so far from their idea of a good time. Why were we participating in such an event?
Which brought me back again to Romans 12. Verse 1-2 in full says this, “So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life ~ your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life ~ and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for Him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what He wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.”
The mind is a tricky thing and once you get an image into it — it’s hard to get it out. Have you ever noticed that?? I want to protect my kids (not shelter) from as much evil as I can. I want to protect their minds from fear. I want to be able to place EVERYDAY of the year before God as an offering. I don’t want to be numb to what this world does and think it’s ok for my family – I want to fix my attention on God and let God bring out the best in me.
To me it represents everything that God is not. The opposite of Faith… is fear and there is no fun in fear.
UPDATED ADDITION TO THE POST: *** La, I loved that idea about hot chocolate and meeting the neighbours, that was a very good. I will write it down in my planner for possibly a future year.
My biggest thing is how scary this day is getting. Neighbours / stores / shows just seem to be trying to “out scare” everyone else. It is much more gore filled than it ever used to be.
Even the origin of the Festival (summer’s end), when it all began back with the Celtic people wasn’t about scaring each other. It was to honor dead relatives and pray for them, a very Catholic thing to do. A religious festival. But over the decades / centuries it has become more and more dark, twisted and fearful. This is the reason I cannot even watch TV at this time of the year. I wouldn’t mind participating if it wasn’t for the fear factor.
We will have candy at the house for those neighbours who come by, I’m not a hider. I won’t “punish” someone else’s child just ’cause my own won’t be going door to door. They will also get plenty of candy at the church. They don’t think they’re missing a thing.