The Pumpkin

Fall is here again with the air becoming brisk and the leaves displaying a plethora of colors. We also are starting to see pumpkins on front porches and throughout various stores. Speaking of pumpkins, a specific memory always comes to my mind—one that reveals how your chaplain is not as squeaky clean as you may believe!

As a freshman in college many years ago, I shared a dorm with my roommate Liz. Suddenly, one clear, chilly evening in October, Liz announced, “I want to go steal a pumpkin!”

“Okay,” I responded, “I’ll go with you.”

With her on foot and me on motorized wheels, we traveled down the sidewalk along the edge of campus.

“I know I saw it along here somewhere,” Liz commented. Thinking we’re looking for a plastic pumpkin, I intently scan the front porch of every house we pass.

Finally, she states, “There it is!” As she strolls confidently up to porch of a dark house to claim a good-size, real, carved pumpkin, the blood rushes through my veins with anxiety and fear as I read the sign posted in the yard: “The President’s House.”

Heading back to our dorm, Liz carries the pumpkin as I roll along her side. Suddenly, ahead of us, we notice the campus security approaching our direction. Liz then quickly places the pumpkin in my scooter basket and continues onward. We pass the security officers with no difficulty, and I release a silent sigh of relief.

While this incident makes for a great story around this time of year, as I truly reflect upon it though, I do regret how I did not stand up for my deeply-rooted values. I went along with another person’s poor decision as well as stole a personal belonging from someone else.

What choices have you regretted from your past? Looking back, how would you handle them differently? What about here at work? What type of image do you wish to present to your colleagues? A person who makes appropriate decisions based on his or her belief system or a person that attempts to “fit in” with the crowd? Even though we ALL make mistakes, let’s think of these errors of judgments as pumpkins. Thus, all of these pumpkins can form our own pumpkin patch where we each can do what we can to “patch up the past” and continue forward with better decisions in the future.


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