Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Why I'm Not as Spiritual as You

October, that wonderful time of the year when people feel the need to post about how they’ve studied their Bible and come to the conclusion that they shouldn’t celebrate Halloween. I must not be studying my Bible enough or something, because I love Halloween.

While there are thing about Halloween that I don’t think Christians should be involved in, the same can be said of Christmas. In fact, I believe I can make the case for Christmas being the most wicked of all holidays. There are plenty of things to love about Halloween. For one, it happens in fall. Not in winter when the cold air keeps you inside. Not in spring, when everything is covered in mud. Not in summer, when the sun burns you to a crisp. Halloween is at a magical time of the year.

Halloween is the only holiday in which everyone goes and visits their neighbors. Think about that. There are preachers who stand in the pulpit every Sunday and say, “You should visit your neighbors.” Well, on Halloween, they do.

Halloween reminds us that we all die. Some people criticize Halloween because it is a “celebration of death.” I don’t think many people who celebrate Halloween would agree with that. For most people, it is just a time to dress up in silly costumes and eat candy. It’s a time to throw a party. But death is a part of it. Many of the costumes people chose are either of dead people or of bringers of death. Does that mean people are celebrating death? No, quite the opposite. Death is something that people fear. Halloween reminds us of our fear. Sometimes, it is good to remember our fears, so we can learn to overcome them.

Wouldn’t it be funny if we learned that the night Jesus walked on water was Halloween night? Of course, they wouldn’t have called it Halloween then, but it appears that Jesus wanted to scare his disciples and then use their fear to teach them. He knew they would think him a ghost when they saw him. He could have calmed the sea for them, without being near them. He could have walked far enough from their ship that they couldn’t see him. He could have gone by boat. But what he chose to do was scare them a little. It is good for us to experience fear in a situation that won’t cause us harm. Halloween does that for us.

I’m certain that I will persuade no one. My friends who post so much about the evils of Halloween will all think me a heathen. But I can’t help it. I love Halloween.

If your car's so great, why the need to show another vehicle?

Have you ever noticed how many bicycles appear in car commercials? Here is an example:

Of course, car commercials are fiction, often showing us cars doing things that we shouldn’t try doing with a car and would void our warranty if we did. But the goal of many car commercials is to sell this idea that, if you buy this particular car, life will be fun. You won’t have to mess with traffic. You’ll have three friends riding with you. You’ll be able to go places and do things that you couldn’t do without it. The image that sells that idea the most is…a bicycle.

The fact is, the car they show you in the commercials doesn’t exist. I don’t mean because it is loaded with all the options, but because you won’t find a car to give you the feeling of excitement that they promise in the ads. Not in the city anyway. Sure, you can load up your car with a bunch of friends and drive through downtown, but instead of looking at the city lit up at night, you’re busy watching for pedestrians, or for the traffic lights. You reach your destination and you aren’t walking on red carpet but paying the valet or searching for a parking garage that isn’t too far away. And then there’s the everyday use. Mostly, what you are doing is driving between stoplights and waiting, unless you get away from city traffic.

To get around reality, car marketers throw a bicycle or two into the commercial. We all know that bicycles are fun. If you see a car at a stoplight with a bicycle on top, you know the driver is either going to or coming from doing something fun. So what if he’s now just sitting there sucking up the exhaust fumes of the car in front of him? At some point in his life, he did something fun.

It seems to me that instead of buying these little cars, people ought to either drive a truck or buy a bicycle. Buying a bicycle is cheaper, but if you have the money, buy both.