Influencing with Pumpkinality
by Rhonda Rhea
How can you tell it’s fall? The answer: Pumpkins. Not necessarily pumpkins in the garden. No, it’s about much more than that. It’s pumpkins on every store shelf in every form you can think of—and some you never thought of. And some you’d rather not ever have thought of.
Pumpkins on every front porch. On tables. In baskets. Arranged, prepared, decorated. You’ll find pumpkin in your breakfast pastry. In your lunch soup. In your dinner salad. It’s in your coffee! We eat, sleep, breathe pumpkins. Literally “breathe” because the number of pumpkin-scented candles, perfumes, air fresheners and the like is getting more impressive by the autumn-minute. Pumpkins have been tinted and whittled, glittered and frittered. They’re sculpted, whipped and crafted. We have pumpkins for every personality. Anyone else close your eyes at night and see orange? We’ve got pumpkinality!
There have also been a few disturbing turns for pumpkins. Chicken pumpkin taco. Really? Seriously, why? Pumpkin potato chips. Pumpkin pizza. Those are all ideas that should’ve been squashed. (Squashed? Mercy, there’s even pumpkin in your humor. “Pun”-kins?)
That doesn’t even count the fake ones. Fabric, metal, wood—will that be paper or plastic? What’s with the extreme pumpkinization of our society? And I don’t know how to tell you this, but I’ve been sucked in. Willingly, even. Well, not the tacos, chips or pizza. But the rest? Wholeheartedly, all in.
It’s good to remember that our society can be influenced. And that it needs to be. Not really for pumpkins—though I confess, I do love them. But for Jesus. For truth. The kind of influence that counts for eternity.
Jesus said, “You are the light of the world.” He wasn’t talking about Jack-o-lanterns when He said, “A city situated on a hill cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and puts it under a basket, but rather on a lampstand, and it gives light for all who are in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven,” Matthew 5:14-16, HCSB.
Put your pumpkins in a basket, fine. But not your light. It’s meant to be shining, influencing—pointing a lost world to a saving Christ. We’re to shine by sharing the Gospel of Jesus, and by the way we live to bring Him glory.
First Peter 2:12 says to “Conduct yourselves honorably” among unbelievers. The next verses get a bit more specific about that conduct. Verse 13 says to “Submit to every human authority because of the Lord” and then the passage sums up in verse 17, “Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the Emperor,” (HCSB).
I’m so much more wholeheartedly “all in” when it comes to shining the light of Christ in this culture. I don’t want to be remembered merely as the lady with the pumpkins on her porch. I would much rather be known as one who lives and influences with integrity, and that one who can’t quite shut-up about all things Jesus.
Meanwhile, when it comes to squash, I won’t try to tell you what you pump-“kin” and “kin-not” do. But I’ve heard you can even make it into pie. Wow, there’s an idea.