Halloween isn’t celebrated in Israel, so I missed the “Trick or Treaters” and cute costumes this October! What I didn’t miss, however, were the ghosts, ghouls and grim goblins that seem to be getting darker and scarier every year. Or maybe I’m just getting old :-)
But I did get an interesting little Halloween message this morning. While running through my dark neighborhood, I saw a white ghost swaying in the wind on someone’s front porch – a Halloween leftover. I was listening to a Tim Keller podcast on forgiveness – and he actually used ghosts to illustrate how we get stuck in the past. Coincidence? I think not! He was talking about forgiveness; how not forgiving others – or ourselves – for past regrets, mistakes, and bad choices is like being haunted by a ghost.
Ghosts are stuck in the past
According to legend, ghosts not only live in the past – they relive it over and over. They’re stuck in a place where something happened or was done to them. Ghosts can’t get over that event; maybe it was a heartbreaking discovery, a sad disappointment, or even a life-destroying blow. Maybe they did something they regret.
Ghosts are completely controlled by the past. They’re haunted. They can’t move on. Ghosts can be bitter, sorrowful, or just trapped by their own misery or self-blame.
Are you allowing yourself to be haunted?
I used to be haunted by things I said or did — or things I wish I’d said or done. I’d haunt myself by reliving my worst moments, my biggest mistakes, my saddest regrets. I revisited conversations I wish I’d never been part of, actions I should’ve left undone.
But not anymore! Now, I focus on Blossoming on who God created me to be. When those ghosts rise out of the darkness, I switch my thoughts to ideas that inspire joy, light, life, love, and freedom.
It gets easier all the time to switch tracks. I decided long ago to stop haunting myself, to ignore the shadows of the past. I’m a new me, created to glorify God and point to Jesus. Instead of allowing myself to be tormented by the past, I listen for the still small voice of the Holy Spirit….and I ignore everything that holds me back.
Choose life, light, and love
I won’t ask you what ghosts haunt you. Why dwell in the past? Instead, tell me what you’ll focus on instead, when those shadows creep up and threaten to overwhelm you.
Examples of what to think about when the past haunts you:
- A beautiful image that inspires or encourages you
- A song that lifts your spirits
- A friend or loved one who fills your heart
- A pet who brightens your day
- A memory that makes you feel joyful
- A dream you’re nurturing or working towards
- A blessing or gift you’re grateful for
- A Scripture verse or quote that strengthens you
What will you choose, my friend? How will you step aside to let the ghosts float by so you can move towards the light, love, and joyful peace that only God can give?
Don’t let those silly old ghosts haunt you anymore. Their time has come and gone.
Now is the season to Blossom into who God is creating you to be. For if not now, when?
In peace and passion,
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