The wind goes woo-oo-oo, the leaves are turning from green to brilliant yellow and fiery red, and themes of harvest time surround us in our stores and shops. Halloween. The Eve of All Saints is upon us. It is an eerie time of year, with its black cats and jack-o-lanterns. So, where does Jesus fit in all of this?
Yesterday, as I was shopping the dollar store for trinkets of fall to decorate the house, Washington Irving’s short story, “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow,” crossed my mind. It is a story set in post Revolutionary War New York. It is the one where there is an apparent love triangle, and an eerie ride through the forest after a harvest party. Old Ichabod Crane sees something that might have been unusual to him, but is commonplace in our world today. It is the “headless horseman,” a body with no head.
What came to mind as I recalled the short story was a memory of a time when Christ was far from me in my life. Without the realization that Christ dwells within me, I was like a body without a head. My head was someplace else, not with God.
After I came to know Christ, my life changed. Slowly, I became aware of a partnership deep within, always having my best interests, always guiding, always protecting me. Having Christ in my life was almost like attaching the mind and head of Christ to my body. He is that real and that influential to me.
Okay, along with all the “goodies,” of having an every-loving, ever-accepting figure in my life came responsibilities. I learned to be obedient to God through Christ Jesus. I became, and am becoming, a different person, with a real head, not a superficial one.
As I recall, before Christ came into my life, I was like a body without a head. I was like a bumper car at an amusement park, bumping into and sometimes injuring my fellow man through my ignorance.
But the truly scary part of the story of the “headless horseman” is that I was not alone. I had lots of company in my body-without-a head phase of my life.
But there is hope. One Christian at a time can make a difference.
As a child, I played a game of chase my friends called “Catch One, Catch All.” One person was “it” and that person would chase down another kid. After touching that kid, both were “it.” Those two kids would chase down others, every one they touched becoming “it” until all the children were caught. Then the merry game was over.
As we minister, evangelize, and give testimony, we are also playing a game of “Catch One, Catch All.” Halloween is a time of child-like abandon. Let us not be frightened by the “headless horsemen” of the world. Let us go chase them down and let them join the game. Have faith.