Who are you supposed to be?

It used to be fun. It used to be simple. You dressed up in your store-bought or hand-made costume and made the rounds. It was usually a neighborhood event. You knew who was who because kids talked about their costumes for weeks. You knew who gave out the best candy. You knew where the old grouch lived and stayed away. You watched the sun makes its agonizingly slow descent so you could hit the streets as close to dark as possible. Everybody watched out for everybody.

If you were cool, you had a great mask … not the ones with the thin rubber bands that kept breaking. The best ones were scary or funny or weird. I remember the 3-foot tall Frankenstein who showed up at our door one time. I always thought the monster was about 7 feet tall, must have been his kid. Sometimes you had to guess what character stood before you. And then there are the middle school kids who don’t even bother to dress up – they just want free candy or else. They might come back with something you don’t want.

Things change. One guy started giving out tooth brushes. I didn’t think Scrooge showed up until Christmas. Then there are the people who handed out granola bars. Really? Then people started into tricks instead of treats, vandalizing homes, cars, and lawns. Not cool.

Today, you don’t see as many kids in many places on Halloween. Churches and schools offer festivals to provide a safe place – “trunk or treats” have become popular. Parents are afraid their children won’t be safe in their own neighborhoods. You have to be more careful these days with the items in their bags. One young man approached us with the traditional “Trick or Treat” and then added “no peanuts please.”

It’s sad when the simple becomes complicated. Sometimes I need to remember that not everything was good about the “good old days” but I’ll still be at my post tomorrow night ready to ask “Who are you supposed to be?”

This entry was posted in Commentary on by .

About Mark Wilbanks

Dr. Wilbanks became Wieuca’s fifth senior pastor in February of 2012. Mark’s father, Oliver Wilbanks, served as Associate Pastor here from 1966 to 1982. Wieuca had a tremendous influence in shaping Mark’s call to ministry during his teenage and young adult years. A graduate of both Southern and New Orleans Baptist Theological seminaries, Mark has served churches in Kentucky, Florida, and Georgia. He pastored Southside Baptist Church in Jacksonville, Florida for 17 years and Bradfordville First Baptist Church in Tallahassee, Florida for ten years. He and his wife, Kim, were married in 1979 and have two sons, Andy and Jordan. Andy is married to Lindsay and they have a son, Cade, a daughter, Ruthie, and welcomed their third child, Samuel, in October.

One thought on “Who are you supposed to be?

  1. W. Frank Blount


    Great reminders of times past.


    W. Frank Blount

    Cellphone: 404 396 9832

    Email: w.frank.blount@comcast.net

    1040 Stovall Blvd. NE

    Atlanta, Georgia 30319

    Home Tel: 404 231 0051

    Home Office Tel: 404 846 4825

    Home Office Fax: 404 846 5594


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