It’s that time of year again. The days when haunted houses and apple orchards are filled with visitors. The time when you can eat candy corn by the fistful and walk down grocery store aisles filled top to bottom with assorted bite-sized candy. And the season when children of all ages begin the careful process of choosing their Halloween costume.
I happened to be talking to a 7-year-old friend of mine last week and asked her the all-important question: “Who are you going to be for Halloween?”
Her elaborate response demonstrated the level of thought that had gone into the decision. Her first choice? Elsa—the ever-popular queen from the Disney movie Frozen. But then she decided she didn’t want to choose a costume just because it was popular. The next option? A dinosaur fairy—a more unique alternative. For awhile she considered wearing her older brother’s cowboy ensemble from a few years earlier, but determined she wanted something with a little more color.
Finally, she settled on a Wonder Woman costume. Her reasoning? “Because Wonder Woman gets to do great things for other people. Oh, and I get to wear sparkly boots.”
I couldn’t argue with her logic. But I also started to wonder what it might be like if people of all ages put as much thought into the depth of their personal character as this child pondered a costume she’d wear over a matter of hours.
What might our lives look like if we woke up in the morning, looked in the mirror, and asked ourselves, “Who are you going to be today?” Of course, not for the purpose of creating a costume, but in the hopes of forming a life of integrity and meaning.
The words of Paul’s second letter to the Corinthians say, “Examine yourselves to see whether you’re living in the faith.” In other words, every day we get to figure out what we’ll bring to the world, and how our lives will add more goodness, peace, or kindness into the lives of others. We don’t have to wait for a once-a-year holiday to determine how we might live differently. And who says children are the only ones who get to imagine themselves in new & exciting roles?
The good news is you don’t need a Wonder Woman costume to do great things for other people. You don’t need any special outfit at all to fill this world with more joy & grace. It simply starts with the desire to ask yourself, every once and awhile—“Who am I going to be?”
– Katy Warren, associate pastor