Tag Archives: fun

trick or treat

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One of my favorite events in the life of our church here in Odessa took place last night. For one night each year we roll out the red, or should I say orange, carpet in a big way. Our annual Fall Festival is awesome! We have about 50 or so volunteers rally to host over 500 people each year. There’s food trucks, inflatables, face-painting, carnival games, pop-corn, music and costumes…so many cool costumes. I love seeing all of the kids, and “adult kids”, coming to our church in their costumes for a night of fun and festivities. In fact, it seems that more and more each year people are really getting into the Halloween spirit. And yet, sometimes we in the church struggle with what to do with this holiday full of spooks and ghosts and ghouls.

I guess we could start by taking a look at our own history, after all, Halloween began as part of Allhallowtide, a Christian feast holiday. According to HistoryChannel.com, “In the eighth century, Pope Gregory III designated November 1 as a time to honor all saints; All Saints Day…The evening before was known as All Hallows Eve, and later Halloween.” Halloween was originally part of a Religious feast intended to honor those who have gone before us. And yet so often we see all of the hullabaloo of Halloween today feeling like something different from it’s Christian roots and often become something else entirely. Even as I am writing this I am thinking about all of those who feel like Halloween is a dark holiday to be avoided at all costs…and I respect your opinion, but think with me for a moment. Try putting yourself in the place of one of the kids who got be at our Fall Festival last night or who looks forward to Trick-or-Treating this coming week. You’re telling me that for a day I get to dress up like someone else, go around to my neighbor’s houses and they give me candy? It’s almost kind of magical. And who doesn’t love another excuse to eat candy?

I have always looked at scripture a little differently and I hope you will amuse me here. To me, one of the saddest verses in all of scripture is found in I Corinthians 13:11 “When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me.” So often we think of this as the natural maturation process, but what if it is talking about the loss of the natural wonder and love that comes with childhood? I think all to often we are ready to grow up and we miss the joy and simplicity of living that can be seen through the eyes of a child. Maybe if we began to see this holiday again through the eyes of a child and all the joy I saw last night we might be able to see it a little differently. Maybe the treat is found through the trick of seeing Halloween as a child. And maybe holidays like Halloween can be enjoyed in a new light as we seek to reclaim the world yet again through childlike wonder and joy.

 

 

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the important things

A few days ago a friend of mine posted a video of the end of her son’s soccer match. Evidently it had been raining and all of the players decided to slide in the mud at the end of the game. In the background of the video you can hear parents starting to warn or yell at their kids not to join in the bedlam of mud sliding. I can just imagine what is running through their minds…”I don’t need that in my car”, “How am I going to get that mud out of the uniform?”, “What if they get sick from sliding in that stuff?”. And yet I also understood exactly what was going on in the minds of the players on the field, “THIS IS AWESOME”. And I wonder, what happened? What happened between us realizing how awesome it is to slide in a mud puddle to being more concerned about clothes, cars or anything else that really at the end of the day has no value. I’d like to think that if I was in that situation I would be tempted to join my kid in the melee. I would hope that I wouldn’t be so concerned about my khakis (who am I kidding, jeans) and my car’s interior that I wouldn’t jump right in. I would hope that I wouldn’t miss out on an eternal memory for temporal unimportant stuff.

It really is a matter of realizing what is important and what is not. In the closing of his letter to the church of Philippi, the writer says this, “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” – Philippians 4:8. And I’ve seen this verse used to justify all sorts of stances, faith statements, creeds, etc. But I really find it more apt to relate to experience. Those experiences that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, praise worthy…these are the experiences we should recall, dwell on and seek to recreate. No one could look at a kid playing in the mud and not realize that for the moment for that child that is one of the best experiences in the world. I don’t think a child will recall later in life how much they loved riding around in fresh pressed clothes and a clean car. But I do think they will probably remember the time you danced in the rain with them, or went down the big slide with them or had a shaving cream fight with them.

My point of all this is simple. Let the important things become the important things. Don’t let the expectations and schedules of life that really are temporal rob you of life’s really important things. The experiences that are true, noble, excellent and lovely. And for goodness sake, go slide in the mud with your kids!

 


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