Monday, October 26, 2015

Living in a Halloween World

photo by J J / flickr

(Good friend Dr. Jim Pitts has written a fine article about how to respond to troubled times. He served as Chaplain at Furman University until his retirement and lives with his wife in Greenville. I thank him for his generosity in letting me use this piece. Worth reading.)

When Everyday Seems Like Halloween

When life tumbles in, what then? What in the world can we do? Some crises are predictable. Others take us by surprise. School shootings, sidewalk axe attacks, home invasions, political polarities, Ebola and ISIS; all remind us of our finitude and need for a faith perspective that transcends the present.

For young adults the loss is one of innocence. Ready of not, adult life with all of its rights and responsibilities is now. For those who are more mature, this calamity causes us to revisit griefs we thought were past and forgotten. Feelings of vulnerability, distrust, and anger surface and surprise us.

Besides acting crazy or going criminal, what in God's name can we do? As we journey through this present wilderness, we need to take seriously the dimensions of our grief. The road to reconciliation and acceptance is long and difficult. There is no quick fix or easy resolution. Along the way we face shock and denial, anger, fear, pain and pleading, depression and guilt.

Remember that every crisis is filled with both danger and opportunity that offers the possibility of spiritual growth. We don't need to sit around and stew in our juices, we need to think, talk, read scripture and pray. We need to move beyond personal preoccupation and connect with others and with God. We are not alone. We are not abandoned and we are not without hope.

In light of what's happening in the world, let's resolve to:

  •   Talk about feelings.
  •    Ask for help.
  •    Listen to others and be kind.
  •    Spend time with family and friends.
  •    Return to our daily routine.
  •    Limit TV time.
  •    Reassure our children that they are loved.
  •    Recall other times we persevered through adversity.
  •    Do something to help others.
  •    And most importantly...Pray!
Appropriate for these troubling times, when everyday seems like Halloween, is classic Cornish prayer.

      "From ghoulies and ghosties,
       long legged beasties
       and things that go bump in the night, 
       Good Lord deliver us!"

Wherever you are in the pumpkin patch of life, I invite you to remember this prayer and add your own "Amen!"
Thanks, Jim Pitts for reminding us of some things we need to remember this Halloween.

--Roger Lovette /



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