Welcome to the blog of author Marlo Schalesky!

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

When the Thing You Fear Comes Upon You...

Hi Friends,

We just finished up four (count 'em, four!) Haunted Trail events in five days at Wonder Wood Ranch. We had a great time and were able to bring fun and joy to a lot of kids (yay!). It was so fun that I just had to write about it in the chapter I'm working on for Reaching for Wonder. I thought I'd share a little excerpt:

Every year we do a Haunted Trail event the weekend before Halloween at the charity ranch I run. We do it because in our lives, and in the lives of our guests (disadvantaged kids from all over the city), there are many things to fear. There’s a lot of failure. The trail begins with a sign from the book of Job that reads, “The thing that I fear comes upon me…” (Job 3:25, ESV). It ends with a sign saying “Who will rescue me from this … death?” (Romans 7:24, NIV). The final sign points to a huge wooden cross.
Unlike some, we don’t choose to ignore Halloween. We choose to transform it. Often life is like a haunted trail. The thing we fear comes upon us. Death comes, cobwebs invade, evil scratches at the corners of our lives trying to defeat us. Sometimes we have a child flirting with death and nothing we do helps. Sometimes we have a financial, health, relational, marital, spiritual crisis and all we can see are bones and scary glowing eyes along the path of our lives. Sometimes we fail. Sometimes we fear. And that’s the trail we walk. But the trail doesn’t end with a graveyard. It doesn’t end with a skeletal horse and rider. It ends with the cross. It ends with hope. And sometimes, you just have to keep walking. You just have to dare to hope again, believe again. You have to hold to the wisps of faith you have and be honest about the faith you lack.
            So, the question is:  Do you dare to try again? Ask again? Hope again? Do you dare to be honest about the war within?

God does not scorn us in our failure and our desperation. He invites us deeper. He invites us to bring to him not only our faith, but our failures, in all their ignominy. Lay it all out before him, and then be quiet, watch, wait.