’Tis the season for spooky things. This week, it’s Halloween. Next week, it’s the elections. Like I said … spooky things. This morning, I woke up with the phrase “more than conquerors” rolling around in my head. The phrase comes from Romans 8:37. So, being the spiritual person that I am, I meditated on it some. What the heck does that even mean … “more than conquerors”? I’m not even sure I want to be a conqueror. Most days, I just want someone to love me. Turns out, maybe that’s what it’s all about anyway.
When the disciples returned from their shortterm mission trips, they raved about how awesome it was that they were able to cast out demons. Yet, Jesus reminded them that as cool as conquering demons is, the real magic was in the fact that their names were written in heaven. In other words … they were more than conquerors. As flippin’ sweet as being an exorcist is, being loved by God is way more rad. But wait … there’s more.
When I was a kid, I played Little League Baseball. As a young Sasquatch among human offspring, I flexed my Herculean strength with my infamous sidearm throws and tended to hit home runs … just slightly out of bounds. Despite my unfair advantage of being abnormally tall and hairy, my team didn’t always win. And win or lose, at the end of the game, we would always line up to extend the hand of friendship to the opposing team. I’m guessing that there are a lot of adults these days who never played Little League Baseball. They never learned how to be gracious losers and honor those who had just beat them fair and square. Worse still are those who never learned to be gracious winners and extend the hand of friendship to those they had just conquered. To be more than conquerors also means that we realize that winning isn’t everything. In life, if we get our butts handed to us, we rest in our unshakable identity as dearly loved children of God. Though we lose, we are still more than conquerors through the finished conquest of Christ’s work on the cross. If we win, we graciously invite our defeated enemies to the table of grace to share in the power of the resurrection and in the story of redemption. That’s how it’s supposed to be, but it’s not … not by a long shot. Here in America, we have devolved into sore losers and boastful winners.
For thousands of years, humans cowered in fear around this time of year. They sought to appease the evil spirits of the night with bribes that might pacify their own fright. And then Jesus showed up and wrecked it all. He spoke … and the demons fled. He died … and crushed the serpent’s head. The tables had been turned, and since then, a little more levity came on the scene. Now, we laugh and play because we know the spell has been broken, and the night has become day.
Most people aren’t afraid of Halloween, but people are losing their minds over these elections. There are rumors of riots that will happen not matter who wins. And in the midst of this fear, I pray that we will remember… that we are more than conquerors.
PAUL MICHAEL JONES is an artist who currently dabbles in music, photography and creative writing.