Sunday, October 30, 2011
I’ve always loved Halloween. There’s candy, dressing up, going trick-or-treating, carving jack-o-lanterns, going to parties, listening to spooky stories, watching scary movies, and it comes during my most favorite time of the year: Fall. It’s just always so much fun.
The other night, some of my family got together for a Halloween party. It was the first time many of us had been able to get together in months now. The biggest highlight of the evening turned out to be going on a town scavenger hunt. My brother and I came up with a list of places or things around town to have to take pictures of, only giving clues to each place or thing using the Halloween theme (such as the bank clock being called “A tick tock clock of doom”). We split the family into two groups and each group drove out town trying to find all the items on the list (my brother in one car and me in another—both refereeing in the event). It turned out to be one of the best times my family has ever had together. And, again, just another reason for why I love Halloween so much.
I realize that not everyone likes Halloween though. While subbing the other day, we had some time to pass in between lessons, and so I had the students make hand ghosts on a sheet of paper. At the top of the paper, students had to write “Happy Halloween”, and at the bottom they had to write their names. Most of the students seemed to really enjoy the activity. But I did have one student object, stating that her family doesn’t celebrate Halloween. I told her it was okay and that she didn’t have to participate. A few minutes later, she made a comment that people do bad things on Halloween and that Halloween was an evil holiday. She asked me about these things directly. I responded that, yes, some people do bad things on Halloween, but that most people just want to have fun out of it.
This all got me to thinking though. You know, here is a time when most people just want to have a good time—nothing evil intended out of it—and yet, this girl had it in her mind that nothing good could come of it. The thing is, people can make something bad even out of the best of things. People get drunk, commit suicide, covet, and do all sorts of bad things around Christmastime. Yet, this girl (and I’ll presume her family, too) probably doesn’t have a problem with Christmas at all.
Everything is what we make it to be. Something good can be turned into something evil. Something evil can be turned into something good. The point is to not go looking for the bad in everything, but to look for the good instead. I wish I could have told that little girl all this the other day. I respect her beliefs and those held by her family, but it really does annoy me when people want to look at Halloween as just a time for evil. It’s only a time of evil if you make it out to be.
Anyway, at least I’m glad it’s Halloween. So far it’s been great.
Happy Halloween, everyone! :)
Sunday, October 23, 2011
A lot of things in life aren’t fair. It isn’t fair for a kind person to be belittled. It isn’t fair for a helpless child to be abused or neglected. It isn’t fair for a mentally challenged individual to be fooled, or deceived, into wrongdoing, or to be taken advantage of. It isn’t fair for a woman to lose her job because she wouldn’t put out to the boss at work. It isn’t fair for a gay high school student to be bullied into desperation. It isn’t fair for the athlete to be called dumb just because they are an athlete. It isn’t fair for the hard working individual to see their job go overseas just so the share holders of their company can save another couple millions on top of the billions they already get. It isn’t fair whenever a person buys a car and a few months later it becomes a complete lemon. It isn’t fair whenever two parents save money for years in order to help afford buying or building a new home and then they get screwed over by the banks and lose everything. It isn’t fair whenever a person gets lung cancer because they’ve been around secondhand smoke all their life. It isn’t fair whenever someone loses their spouse in a car wreck. It isn’t fair whenever your child develops leukemia and dies from it before the age of two. It isn’t fair whenever the best person for the job doesn’t get the job. It isn’t fair whenever a person exposes their own sin and is then shunned and belittled by the very Christians they sought out help from. It isn’t fair to be tempted by something so strongly that at times there doesn’t seem to be any relief from the temptations. It isn’t fair for a person who’s worked their whole life to see their pension be taken away. It isn’t fair for a woman who loves children to not be able to have children of her own. It isn’t fair for the father of a conceived child to have no right to stop the mother from having an abortion. It isn’t fair for a family to witness their home burn to the ground because of some electrician’s shoddy electrical work. And nor is it fair when you’re picked last for the team because you’re apparently “too smart”.
So much in life isn’t fair. We all get raw deals in life. Bad things happen to good people. Good things happen to bad people. None of it is fair. But that is just life. Life isn’t fair, or easy. There are always battles and struggles to have to go through. In all of it, we can make the decision to keep trudging forward to always try to do what is right, or we can decide to give in, give up, and fall to the wayside. How we act when life throws us lemons impacts each of us and those around us in so many profound ways.
Our resolve to keep trudging forward is what makes all the difference in the world. Our hope in good eventually outweighing evil, and God fulfilling the promises He has made to us, keeps us on a path that, even though it may seem harder at times to stay on, truly does lead us to a better place. When we keep our hope and keep our faith and keep moving forward no matter what life throws our way, we become the light of the world and victorious in Christ. Our lives will always be better, even if it seems harder at times and perhaps even less fulfilling at times, when we stay on course. And even though the journey may seem long and difficult, God will always be with us through whatever struggles we have. The devil would love for us to believe that God has abandoned us, forsaken us, deceived us, and/or left us for dead, but that will always ever only be the devil’s own doing—his way of trying to make us stumble, blame God, and to turn away from what we know is right and true. But if we resist him, and hold true to God and to what is right, in the end will we always be better off.
When life is unfair, it is hard not to complain, get angry, depressed, or fall off course. It seems so contradictory to try and do what is right only to get bad things in return. But we have to keep in mind, it is not God sending those lemons our way; it is the devil. We cannot ever forget that, or we will truly become lost. It is when those lemons are being hurled at us that we should hold on the strongest to what we know in our hearts is right; when we should turn to God and cling onto Him with every ounce of our being. And, if we do that, even though we may have some length of time struggling, He will always see us through to a better end than what we’d have with the alternative.