Trick or Treat?

I love everything autumn – the changing of the colors, the coolness of the temperatures, the playing of football, and the celebration of the festivals. It continuously reminds me of opportunities to embrace positive change and moments in which to savor the fruits of hard labor. It reminds me that life is full of decisions and choices; ones that can make the trip a miserable and bitter experience, and others that can only serve to sweeten the journey.

This chilly Halloween morning brings back fond childhood memories. While the thoughts of disguising ourselves as a favorite character or occupation was certainly on our minds, the anticipation of filling our plastic jack-o-lanterns with tasty morsels topped the list, and we had a plan. Having years of experience tucked under our belts, we knew just what candy tickled our tongues and satisfied our tummies and we usually knew how to get it –  completely fill the plastic pumpkin with an assortment of loot in order to  trade off your less than favorite flavors with a brother, sister or friend. The challenge was selecting the right places to pick up more of your favorites and avoiding the pranksters lurking behind the trees and hedges.

Trick-or-treating sounds a bit like life. We’re all reaching for God-given dreams and we’ve planned and schemed on ways to reach our goals. There are times however when we stray from the plan. We repeatedly knock on doors not meant for our visitations and become distracted by the pranksters who try and scare us from the path. We reach for brightly colored, temporary treats that usually leave a bitter taste in our life. We grow afraid, scared, enslaved, and imprisoned, and soon life can become the literal Nightmare on Your Street.

As you travel this wonderful journey, walk wisely. Pray for discernment to discover the tricks and the treats. Listen to the still, small voice inside of you calling you to the open doors. Profile the pranksters and walk away. Keep your course straight and true. You might just give up the bitter to savor more of the sweet.

©Copyright 2011 Scott Rhoades/Ivory Hill Studios

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