Halloween & the Nature of Self-Change

“What are you going to be for Halloween?” is the typical question this holiday.  I enjoy the fundamental principle of being something other than what you are for Halloween.  No one walks into a Halloween party as themselves.  Nobody takes their kid trick-or-treating dressed in their normal Monday school clothes.  That would be sad.  The understanding is you’re supposed to put on a costume, turn into something that you aren’t and be something else.  And it’s understood that the measure of a good costume is how realistic it is.  The more realism, the more impressed people are.  In other words, the more convincing you are that you’ve become what you intended to be, the better the compliments you receive.  I’ve seen some pretty realistic Ghostbuster costumes with proton packs that look like they really would fire.

Whether your child becomes a fairy or a pumpkin and you become Batman or a zombie, the principle is to change yourself.  As long as you become something you are not, that’s fair game.  So you could be a UPS driver, a priest, a nun, or a baseball player.  And the more believable you are, the better!

I always liked Halloween growing up for this very basic principle of changing yourself into something else.  As much as we don’t like change and it causes us stress, change is necessary to our humanity.  Halloween is a great reminder that self-transformation is a key principle in life.  Salvation in Christianity automatically means change because God isn’t just saving us from hell but from ourselves.  He loves us enough to save us from our flawed,sinful and broken state.  A “new creation” is what the Apostle Paul called Christians (2 Cor. 5:17).

But changing well doesn’t come easy.  I’ve seen some very convincing zombie make-up, Darth Vader costumes and Iron Man outfits.  You couldn’t tell they weren’t the real thing.  To make a change that is not shabby where it looks like you “just threw something together,” it takes work.  Being believable takes effort.  It’s honest effort on the Holy Spirit’s part to work in your life and on your part to work with Him.

So this Halloween, I celebrate self-change, where what I become is not who I was yesterday.  I’ll become something better.

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