Never been a fan of Halloween. I figure there's enough genuine wickedness in the world without having our children pretend to be witches, vampires, or werewolves, even for a night. Nor have I understood the thrill of being terrorized out of my wits by horror movies or books like Stephen King's. And you can ask my hubby why it's just not worth the fun of startling me.
But neither am I one of those who thumps folks over the head with the evils of Halloween. I refuse to hide in the basement on October 31, lights off and doors locked. I give out treats to be a good neighbour and because it's a handy excuse to have chocolate in the house. (Although last year, I finally got smart and bought the kind of candy that doesn't tempt me. Much.)
I'll tell you what does frighten me, though, and it's not spiders, snakes, death, or public speaking. Here are three things I find truly scary:
1. When adults teach children the theory of evolution as fact. If you've read my column much, you already know where I stand on the idea of our having a Master Designer. For my first bit of evidence, I present to you The Ear. Assuming all of life evolved from a single-cell amoeba, I'd like to know why, at some given point along our evolutionary climb, the ear started to develop. For what reason? With no knowledge of sound, how did we "know" to evolve a means to hear? And closer to home, why do creatures much farther behind on the ladder have the ability to grow new limbs while humans do not? Who decided to discard this as a useless feature? I guess I just don't have the kind of faith required to believe in evolution.
2. I fear how far behind I am technology-wise. Sure, I can use a computer for writing and emailing and Facebook. But all the little hand-held gadgets everybody else seems to be carrying around make me feel like a dinosaur. I don't even own a cell phone. I'm tempted to keep a calculator in my pocket so I can whip it out and pretend to check messages every now and then, just to look hip. When they dim the lights in church, you can see folks' faces all aglow, not from the joy of the Lord but from the reflection of their electronic whatever. Another year or two, and I will have to abandon all hope of ever catching up. This scares me.
3. When I hear myself and my friends discussing our various ailments, medications, and doctor visits ad nauseum. I used to vow I'd never become one of those people. Now I find myself hammering out long emails to my sister with all the details, and devouring her replies. I get it now. But it's not the ailments that trouble me so much, it's their all-consuming, attention-grabbing nature. It's what they reveal about my own self-centredness versus the person I hoped I was. Scary.
No wonder almost every book in the Bible includes at least one "fear not." There is much to fear!
And it ain't Halloween.