With my favorite holiday of Halloween right around the corner, it is only natural to begin contemplating fear. Actually, I hate Halloween and everything about it - I don't understand celebrating wickedness and evil. I also hate scaring people (except my sister, who I have spent a lifetime coming up with new ways to scare). I don't watch horror films or suspense films. And I will not go to any of my area's million theme park Halloween spectaculars.
Over the last few years, I have even taken this further. I don't watch "realistic dramas" (CSI, Without a Trace, ER) because I don't want to get those images stuck in my head, I don't watch the news because I don't want to see some story on a some mother who killed her kids, and I hate it when CNN.com sneaks headlines in about kids getting hurt. Yes, in reality things like that happen, but I don't want to watch reality. I live reality. I want to escape that. That's why I like to see an island full of castaways running from monsters (Lost) and men in capes swinging over Gotham (Batman) and old fat guys talking about sports (PTI).
My son experienced the fun of Halloween this year with Heffalump's Halloween Movie Knockoff Thingee. He also got to see the ugly side the first time we walked by Spencer's and saw the disgusting junk in its window. That certainly was a pleasant experience for him and me. He still talks about the "bad stuff" that was there. I don't like fear in any way - even as a motivation for people to get saved. I am not the biggest fan of scaring people into Heaven. Basically, I am not a huge fan of Halloween and its various trappings. If I am a fan of anything, I am a huge fan of it, because I am a huge man. So, you could say, I am a huge protestor of Scare Day.
If I did participate in Halloween, or Trunk or Treat, or Fall Festival, or Harvest Celebration, or Judgement House, or whatever, I would dress up as the scariest thing I can think of -- a hurricane. I swear, nothing gets me as scared as one of those monsters. Yes, terrorists are a scary lot, but a lot of time it is one of those "you can kind of guess where that could happen" things (at least that is what I tell myself). But those hurricanes? If you are in the Gulf you are in danger. And you don't know what is going to happen. They move and wobble and change based on winds and water temps. And just because you made it through one doesn't mean anything. South Florida had weathered five hurricanes before Wilma hit. There had already been a lot of damage, but then they got nutted up by this one - and the back half at that! My family down there had more damage than in the others - including the one that sat on their heads for two days.
Another thing about hurricanes is they include a lot of other issues. If you were to rank the scary stuff about weather, you would have a pretty nice list of disasters: earthquakes, volcano, flood, tornado, hurricane. Hurricanes include three of those. We had tornados popping up all over our area yesterday. So now, in addition to the howling winds that make it sound like your walls are screaming, and the lake behind you rising up higher and higher, you have to watch out for tornados too. Earthquakes you can avoid by not living along a fault line. How do you avoid a volcano? Stay away from them. How about hurricanes? Oh yeah, don't live anywhere near water. Hmmm.
I hate hurricanes. I lived in Florida for thirty years without ever going through one. Florida has been hit by eight in the last 14 months - I was in half of those. And we got nothing like New Orleans, Biloxi, or Cancun. Dracula has nothing on these storms. Of course, the Bible tells us not to be given to a spirit of fear. And we should remember that Jesus controlled the wind and waves. And that God created this world and is not surprised by a storm. And those are indeed comforts. However, there a lot of churches and Christians along the Gulf Coast that suffered the same as the unsaved people there. I guess what makes them so terrifying is that I DO know God and His power and justice. I know what He CAN do. I just need to trust Him. But I still will be glad when November has come and gone and we don't have to worry about them storms until next summer. Instead, I can worry about frostbite. Bwaaahaaahaaaa.
PS - The low today is 47. Everyone is FREEZING here. We may need to break out the scarfs and gloves if it keeps up. Anyone got some we can borrow?