With the trees near peak color here in mid-Michigan and the grasses in the fields brown and spent, it is almost impossible not to think of things that have passed or are passing. It would be easy to sit and think about all of the losses and struggles we have experienced this year and those struggles that may not be over yet. It is difficult not to fill our minds with what used to be or could have been; the what ifs and all of the times we should have said I’m sorry but didn’t. Today is October 6th with Halloween lurking, Thanksgiving just around the corner, and Christmas not long after. Halloween is set aside for all things dead and decaying and things that cannot be resurrected – only regretted. It is filled with fear of the unknown and thrives on trickery and deceit. Beyond Halloween there is a better and brighter season we can look forward to. A season that celebrates all that is good and right and righteous. A season that begins by giving thanks and ends with the long promised salvation of a lost world. I would much rather fix my eyes on hope and joy and peace…and I’ll to start by being thankful.
I am extremely thankful for my family; not only my wife and two great kids, but my brothers and sisters, nieces and nephews, aunts and uncles, in-laws…and yes, outlaws – (we all have them in our families!). They all in some way or another contribute to who I am. Most have been encouraging and some have been refiners…some have been both…and I am thankful. I am thankful that I have a home to live in, that I have food on my table, and that I have a job, and that there is no snow on the ground…yet. I am thankful that I live in a country that is still free and that I can walk through my neighborhood in safety. I am thankful that I have been blessed with these things and fully understand that there are those who have not, and my family and I will do what we can to be good stewards of what we have been given. I am most thankful that I have a Savior…without whom I would be most lost.
Some will celebrate over the next few weeks with goons and goblins and ghosts – let them have their day. There is no need to condemn and no requirement to participate, and placing a pumpkin on your front steps does not mean you buy into all the gory ghouls and tales of terror. Who knows, it could invite those in who are looking for something more important…seeking for something more meaningful. The season beyond is waiting to shine light into the darkness and chase away the ashes and cobwebs. We can be a light in the here and now and a beacon for those looking for more than just a bag of candy given by a stranger in a witch costume in a front yard cemetery.