WHAT MAKES HALLOWEEN SCARY?
At first, my 11-year-old neighbor’s question surprised me. Fun loving Emily is usually carefree about life. “Could I ask you the meaning of a dream I had last night? I woke up scared and couldn’t get back to sleep.”
“Of course,” I replied, “I’ll try to help.” Emily continued, “In the dream I saw myself dead with really black eyes, just laying there. Nearby, was a scary creature with arrows looking something like the devil. “
“That dream would have alarmed me also. So why do you think you had the dream?’ I asked. “Maybe the devil was after me. I don’t really know,” Emily thoughtfully replied.
“Emily, do you know there is for real, good and evil, God and the devil?” I asked. “Yes!” She replied assuredly. I went on, “Do you know God loves you and wants you to have a good life filled with his protection? The devil wants to steal and destroy anything good in your life?”
“Yes, I believe those things are true,” Emily replied in agreement. I pressed on, “Do you know the sub-conscious mind is busy at work when we sleep, processing our past experiences. Both God thoughts and devil thoughts can come as we sleep and dream, depending on what we pay attention to when we’re awake.”
Surprised, Emily responded, “No, I didn’t know that.” Suddenly I understood, “Emily, have you been watching scary shows on television? These past weeks have been filled with scary images promoting Halloween.” “Yes I have. My brother and sister love those movies but they really scare me,” was Emily’s expected reply.
I explained further to help Emily not misunderstand with false guilt. “Emily, you didn’t know the devil could use scary shows to disturb your sleep and cause you to be afraid. Some people can watch those images and not be bothered. But, now you know those images aren’t good for your thought life and your sleep.”
Already thinking how she could avoid further sleep disturbances she replied, “I could leave the room or cover my eyes and ears if those pictures come on.” I agreed and added, “And before you go to sleep, you can ask God to help you not look at those scary pictures. You could ask him to fill your mind with his good and loving thoughts about you.” Then the two of us asked God to make it so.
Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. If you do this, you will experience God’s peace, which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus…….. Fix your thoughts on what is true and honorable and right. Think about things that are pure and lovely and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. (NLT: Philippians 4: 6 – 8)