I do not practice witchcraft nor do I sacrifice kittens on a makeshift altar, but I did participate in Halloween when I was a child and allow my children to do the same.
Before I go any further I will mention that if I ever do start sacrificing kittens, I know which one would go first. My wife decided that our family needed a new kitten since one of our cats probably went through the digestive system of a coyote or some other such creature recently. I like to pretend that Flower was caught up into Heaven like Enoch or Elijah, but I’m pretty sure that she wasn’t holy enough for such a send-off.
Kristy found the no-name four-week-old kitten for free off of Craigslist. We are well aware that bad things can happen when using Craigslist, but we are the type of people who are comfortable living on the edge. We even fail to use our turn signals on occasion.
My 2 year-old was carrying No-Name around a couple of days ago when she decided that it would be a good idea to put her down right beside our kitchen cabinets that feature a small hole in the corner just big enough for a kitten to crawl into. No-Name then darted into the hole and down a short alley-way before turning right and getting stuck. It took a long time and the help of a compassionate friend to free her from her self-imposed prison.
I told Kristy that we should either name the kitten Baby Jessica or Chilean Miner. She was not amused.
So you see, if I was going to start sacrificing kittens, No-Name/Baby Jessica/Chilean Miner would be first. But participating in Halloween didn’t turn me into the kind of person who sacrifices kittens, so she’s safe….for now.
I know that Halloween is seen as evil by some and that there are those who condemn Christians who allow their children to participate. I know that some even fear that participating will cause children to become warped in one way or another. I also know that one of my favorite childhood memories involves this much-maligned day.
One year, my ugly brother and I hopped into my Dad’s old Ford Grenada and went to the either the Family Dollar or the Dollar General Store in search of Halloween costumes. I’m not sure which store it was; all I remember is that “Dollar” was in the name. After looking around for what seems like an eternity to a child but is only 15 minutes to adults, I finally found the costume I wanted. SUPERMAN!
I was shocked that I was able to find it. It was a day before Halloween–most of the good costumes were usually gone by that time. And it was hidden under a lot of other, far less cool costumes. I was amazed that it wasn’t out in front of all of the others, but I am glad that it wasn’t. If everyone could have easily found it, it would have already been gone.
Back then, many of the costumes came in flimsy card-board boxes with clear plastic tops. I clutched that box like it was gold. I couldn’t wait to get home, open it up, and see how much I looked like the Man of Steel.
When I got home, I found out that I had apparently failed to read what exactly was in the box. When I opened it up, it was not Superman.
It was Mork from Mork and Mindy. My little fat heart inside of my little fat body was broken.
How could I have made such a mistake? Well, we had been looking for a while and I had gotten anxious. Couple that with the fact that the Mork mask looked just like a Superman mask and you have the recipe for this devastating costume debacle.
Sadly, I knew that Dad wouldn’t let me take it back; I had already opened it which in my family was considered the point of no return. There was nothing I could do except try to make the best of a bad situation.
I put the costume on and looked at myself in the mirror. I held up my right hand and forced myself to do Mork’s “V” salute. I said “nanooo, nanooo” over and over again. Something strange happened.
The costume that I hated slowly became my favorite of all time. This happened because I didn’t give up on it. I tried to make it work. I persevered.
Persevering is not prominent in our culture. Our marriages become difficult and we may long for the freedom that we think will make us happy. Our jobs become stressful and we may want to quit. Serving in the church becomes more difficult so we consider scaling back or stopping altogether.
This may be where you are at right now. If not, it may be where you are headed.
If so, perseverance may be in order. You may need to keep trying.
The thing you hate now may become your favorite later on if you keep going a little longer. Hanging on may be exactly what is needed.
If you refuse to try, you will never know.
I wanted to be Superman, but ended up as Mork. It wasn’t what I had planned, but it turned out great in the end.
You may not be where you had planned. Persevere. You never know what might happen.
****DISCLAIMER**** No kittens were harmed during the writing of this blog post.
(Do you have a favorite cosutme? Do you remember Mork and Mindy? Be different–leave a comment!)