Although it’s almost over, it remains my favorite month of the year for many reasons.
Football is in high gear while the MLB playoffs are heating up.
October is the start of God making new colors to decorate the leaves and crisp evenings with family around the fire pit.
It’s the time to sort through and find those perfect sweaters and snuggle up on the couch for a scary movie while you sip hot chocolate.
Pumpkin spice is the flavor – for everything – and flannel shirts and boots take the place of a suit and tie.
October is the onset of the Holiday season and a time to prepare for the cold months of winter.
But for me, it’s when I turn another year older. My birthday falls toward the end of the month as does my oldest son’s.
Three years ago, this month was a turning point in my life. I went to San Francisco, Calif., with Angie, and a “new chapter” started. I began to work on a manuscript in between a bike ride across the Golden Gate Bridge, a tour of Alcatraz, and a visit to the giant trees in Muir Woods.
A few weeks later, my website launched, and I wrote my first blog. Wow, how times can change – yet it all seems like it was only a few days ago.
Two years ago, this month, I signed my first publishing agreement while in Tampa, Florida, again while I was with Angie.
Twenty-four months later, I have 10 additional book contracts. That is amazing, daunting, and humbling.
And this month I started another adventure and a new job. This week, I’m in Hollywood, California for some training, and the Ohio Christian Writers Conference is right around the corner. I also have two games remaining on my local high school football radio broadcasting gig for WPAY. It’s an exciting time.
Big things have happened to me in October, despite the negative connotation some have piled onto the month.
Many people of faith refer to October 31 as the Devil’s night. Some feel it’s a time when ungodly folks celebrate demons and witchcraft.
I don’t feel that way at all. I am aware of the history of the observed day at the end of the month.
It’s a celebration or festival where children, and some adults, dress up in costumes and beg for candy.
Movies have depicted the holiday as a time of demonic creatures, and characters like Michael Myers or Freddy Krueger have catapulted to a cult-like status.
Many of the Halloween traditions have come from Celtic harvest festivals, which had pagan roots. Some believe that the tradition started solely as a Christian holiday, separated from ancient festivals like Samhain, according to Wikipedia.
On the eve of Halloween, in Poland centuries ago, followers were taught to pray out loud as they walked through the dark forests in order that the souls of the dead could find comfort.
In Spain, Christian priests would ring the church bells to remind the village to remember the dead. In Ireland, the custom included abstinence and was a meat-free day where the main course consisted of pancakes and bread. See, there were vegans back then too – now that is scary to me. And in Mexico, youngsters made an altar and asked the spirits of dead children to return again. Creepy.
Today, the attitudes of Christians toward Halloween are different. Many are concerned about how it’s recognized and celebrated as a day of evil.
I don’t need to set a day aside to know evil exists. The war is fought daily.
Evil comes in the form of murder, ignorance, neglect, abuse, fear, and anger, and there are many other traits.
I do not believe in ghosts, goblins, or the headless horseman. But I do know evil spirits are real. I have been attacked by them over the years and have been a target of destruction.
That’s why I do not look upon Halloween as a day to lift up Satan and his demons. They are already here. We battle them every day.
The forces of evil are out to destroy you and me and will take no prisoners. The main target is the family, but they will gladly claim whatever they can get.
The only costume needed to win the battle against them is found in Ephesians:
Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against the flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rules of darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. (Ephesians 6: 11-12 KJV)
The costume should consist of the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation, the shoes of peace and the sword of the word of God. It should be worn every day and not just on October 31.
I’ll maintain my perspective for Halloween and be excited each October while I anticipate the good things God has to offer me. He’s been on a roll the last few years, and I’m awaiting the next big step He wants me to take.
Enjoy this festive month. Take in the wondrous colors and welcome the change in the atmosphere. Feel free to send me a birthday gift card for a cup of Tim Horton’s coffee or from Apple so I can get the latest tunes from Norah Jones.
What are your thoughts on Halloween? Do you think it’s evil? Let me know your opinion.
And just so you know, I can’t wait to see my grandchildren who will be decked out as Jack and Sally from The Nightmare Before Christmas.
Del Duduit is an award-winning writer and author. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org