Beyond Midnight

31 Dec

PinkTimesSquareBallHave your New Year’s Resolutions gone something like this?

2007: I will get my weight down below 180 pounds.
2008: I will follow my new diet religiously until I get below 200 pounds.
2009: I will develop a realistic attitude about my weight.
2010: I will work out three days a week.
2011: I will try to drive past a gym at least once a week.

I (Dawn) remember sitting with my mom and sister each New Year’s eve, watching on television as the lighted ball traveled down a pole on the One Times Square building in Times Square in Manhattan, New York City. As the ball lowered to the bottom of the pole, we shouted, “Happy New Year!” along with millions of people in the United States and around the world.

The Times Square Ball has changed a lot over the years. A little history: There was no Ball in 1904, when the celebration first began. Fireworks sufficed that year; but in 1907, the first electrically-lighted ball made people smile, dropping one second after midnight. The descending of the Ball stopped completely during World War II, accommodating wartime lighting restrictions. Colored bulbs replaced white ones over the years. By 1995, the Ball was computerized, and included a strobe light system. The Ball was designed with Waterford Crystal in 2000, and then got another makeover, still crystal but with LED lighting, in 2008. The diameter of the Ball doubled in 2009, and in 2010, the NY Daily News reported that “the Ball’s 288 crystals” were lit “by 32,256 LED lights” that created “a kaleidoscope of more than 16 million vivid colors.”

Whew! A lot of fuss for a few minutes of excitement, right?

Even as a kid, I was more concerned about the “beyond midnight” part of New Year’s. I wondered what the people in Times Square would do next after the let-down of all that excitement. And I wondered whether my New Year would be better than my last. I thought that all my resolutions would make a difference, but most were made without much thought as to how I’d “keep” them.

As an adult, I’ve come to realize it’s not about “New Year’s resolutions,” but rather the well-thought-out goals that we will strategize to achieve as we discipline our lives and listen for the whispers of God. It’s about focus and faithfulness.

I’ve also realized that our New Year will be just about what we expect it to be. Oh, there will be unexpected challenges, but we will have the opportunity to face anything in life with the presence and power of God, and choose our attitudes. We will have the opportunity to make decisions that will take our lives down new avenues, perhaps. We will have the opportunity to put our hand in God’s and walk courageously with Him through each new day.

So, beyond midnight means “opportunity” ~ Are you ready for the opportunities God will bring into your life this year? “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love Him” (1 Corinthians 2:9).

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