But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
– 2 Peter 3:18a (NLT)
One of the worst moments of childhood is the day you realize you’re too old to trick-or-treat. It creeps up on you subtly. One year you’re scared the big kids are going to take your candy. The next year you notice nobody is bigger than you.
At school, you’re afraid to bring it up. Some of your friends are talking about going out and playing pranks. Others are making fun of the kids who are buying costumes. Still, there’s the silent majority who don’t know what to do. Sure, you’re growing up, but who wants to give up all that free candy? Who wants to miss out on masks and colored hairspray and the cool stuff that goes with it?
If only the government would set a legal limit, things would be simpler. We have an age for driving, an age for drinking, even an age for retirement. Would it kill Congress to establish a trick-or-treating age and put all the confused tweens out of their misery?
If you or someone you love is in the midst of this dilemma, let me offer some help. Here are seven tips to help you know when you might be too old for trick-or-treating:
- Every time you say “trick-or-treat,” your voice cracks.
- You drive yourself from house to house.
- You decide to save money by wearing your prom dress.
- Your Duck Dynasty costume doesn’t require a fake beard.
- You invite your fraternity brothers to go with you.
- Your wife makes you share any chocolate you get with her.
- You’re dressed as your favorite Bee Gee.
If any of those describe you, maybe it’s time to rethink your Halloween plans.
Eventually most of us make the transition from taking candy to giving it away. It’s all part of growing up. Or, at least, it’s supposed to be. But then again, sometimes we don’t always outgrow the things we should.
You ever do something just to impress your friends? That’s understandable in middle school, but a different story when you’re middle-aged. Have you ever bent the truth to avoid a tough conversation? That’s one thing when you’re four, but another matter when you’re 34. Ever jealous when your friends get new toys? Pout when you don’t get your way?
Well, you get the picture. Some of us may be too old for trick-or-treating, but unfortunately, we’re never too old to act immature.
On the plus side, though, we’re never too old to start growing up. The Bible is full of gray-haired graduates of the school of spiritual growth. Moses was 80 years old when God helped him overcome his fear. Abraham was over 100 when God taught him how to trust in his promises. And Zechariah was simply described as “very old” when he learned how to keep his mouth shut and listen to God (Luke 1:7 NIV).
That means there’s hope for any of us who are ready to hang up our candy buckets and ask God to help us take a step towards maturity today.
- Did you go trick-or-treating as a kid? How did you know when you were old enough to give it up?
- What’s one area of your life God has helped you to grow in over the years?
- Where do you think God may be calling you to do a little growing up today? Who is someone who could encourage you in this process?
God, thank you for helping me to grow up in my faith. Please show me where I need to take a step toward maturity and give me the strength to do it. Amen.
Excerpt from Tales From the Leaf Pile, a Holiday Road Devotional, available now in paperback and ebook on Amazon.
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