Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.
On New Year’s Eve it is the custom to celebrate the stroke of midnight. There is great anticipation and revelry as the clock ticks down.
The build up to the big night usually means reviewing the year coming to an end. There is a glut of retrospectives to choose from to make sure we do not miss any news reports or pop-culture minutiae.
Looking over our shoulders while partying is a strange tradition, but we do it annually. We replay the past as we dance around in the present, but it is the future where we will spend the rest of our lives.
Every year, whatever the personal circumstances may be, expectancy swells within us. A bit of hope develops; hope that tomorrow and all the tomorrows to follow will be better or more rewarding than the accumulated yesterdays.
Then the new year dawns and there are all the old issues; there are bills to pay, jobs to do, deadlines to hit and commitments demanding our attention. The commentators give us the headlines which are as bleak or dismal as usual; names are changed and faces rearranged, but the stories must be on an endless loop because they all seem the same.
Life is what it is; we all breathe the same air, bleed the same color blood and face the same struggles and existential questions.
Faith and reality often smash up against each other, but no matter how foreboding or towering the wall of reality may be, the choice to confront it by applying faith in the One who makes a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland, is always the wisest of decisions.
The grace of God is a mysterious wonder; our understanding will never fully grasp it, but comprehension is not necessary to receive it. There is an open invitation for each one; it is freely available every second of every minute of every hour of every day of every year.
Before the bell tolls midnight, let’s pause for a few moments to acknowledge what God is doing in our midst; let’s thank him for the new thing he desires to accomplish in our lives; let’s look forward and seek the profound truth that life itself is not about us, but about what God desires to do in and through us.
At the close of the first decade of the twenty-first century, here are some thoughts to consider: Crossroads, Freedom & Moral Responsibility