Finding Balance in Fear

We grew up trick-or-treating. The last year was the year my parents got saved. My biggest memory was how evil it seemed for the first time. When we came home and riffled through our bags of candy looking for anything from suspicious to malicious–no one was interested in the holiday anymore.

When my kids were little, “Halloween Origins” was one of the first things I searched on the strange and confusing World-Wide-Web. Then we watched Halloween: Innocent Fun or Spiritual Deception (see below) and that solidified any doubt my husband and I had about participating in the holiday.

The first few years we just shut off lights and prayed. Then we moved into a neighborhood where we knew too many kids and we started passing out tracts and candy. Plus our kids had gotten word about the insane amount of sugar one could consume–all on your neighbors expense! So we bribed them to stay home saying we would let them pig out on candy we bought…and the bonus was no razor blades!

The next step was a new church which had a big Bible-themed harvest party where we actually had to dress up and go out.

On one end you have the gory costume–and on the other–hiding and praying. Those and anything in between are really your choice, depending on where you are in your walk with God. Let no one judge you. For me it was a good idea to go to an extreme. It can almost be a way to detox from previous thought patterns.

Today as I started roasting pumpkin seeds, making gingersnaps and pumpkin dip (don’t you love fall?) I compared how at times I wouldn’t have even done this much because it too closely resembles participation in the festivities. I’m getting better: last night, I freaked out much less when the neighbor kid came by screaming he was a demon here to kill and maim….

But it isn’t that I am becoming desensitized. I still believe that Halloween is more than just a cute time for kids to go against everything you ever told them and take candy from strangers.

The horror movies, amusement park rides, masks–they are all trying to evoke fear. Scare you. And the spirit of fear is not the one Christ came to give. He came to give power, love and a sound mind.

He came not to kill and maim, but to give life more abundantly. The now kind of life, not just eternity.

Long ago I delighted in the scariness. Sought after the fear for one night only. But that is just the thing, I am liberated not to fear. Delivered from the bondage of it, as a child of God. And remembering that, gives balance.