A reflection on Halloween

Happy Halloween! Whether you celebrate it or not, you can’t get away from Halloween. The candy in the stores, the spiders and cobwebs and skeletons in shop windows, people all over the place wearing costumes… it is a holiday that many do celebrate.

Regardless of the origins of Halloween and all the opinions on both sides about whether we should celebrate or not, there’s something intriguing about it.

As I was thinking about it today, there is something about dressing up in a costume, putting on a mask, and pretending to be a superhero or villain or Walking Dead zombie that gets people excited (there’s also that guarantee of tons of free candy!). What is it about dressing up to be someone or something else that excites?

I would love to be a superhero. When I was a kid, I would dress up as a Ninja Turtle or Superman or a Power Ranger, because I thought they were awesome and I wanted to be one! I still love superheroes and secretly wish the Ninja Turtles were real. But, sadly, they aren’t.

Maybe I’m overthinking things, and that’s very possible (I often do), but I wonder if there is something inherent in our psyche that strives to be someone we aren’t. We want to perform better, be more popular, have a better job or house, be better at a sport or instrument, be a more talented singer or businessperson. There’s a constant strive for something other than what we are right now.

Is Halloween the only time we put on a costume or mask and pretend to be something we aren’t? I don’t think so. We do it when we hang out with our friends or talked to someone on the phone or tell someone about our work. If you’re anything like me, we tend to overemphasize our strengths and exaggerate the good parts of our lives and personalities to make ourselves feel better about the not-so-good parts.

But the cool thing about life is if we open up to someone, we take that mask or costume or false sense of self off, and are truly vulnerable with someone else, it completely changes things.

It’s almost counter-intuitive, but when we share an insecurity with someone we trust, it can actually help increase our security in who God has created us to be. Sharing a shortcoming or insecurity, being vulnerable, can actually help strengthen and ground us in who we are as God’s creation.

On this Halloween, who is someone you trust that you can share something with? We started a new series on the life of Joseph this week at church (Joseph: Live Differently). Living differently is the point here, too.

We hold so much in and stumble on alone, when we could thrive in honest, loving, God-honoring, Christ-centered community. What’s holding you back? Let it go and push forward. Do something a little different today.

 

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