Next year I'm gonna...(fill in the blank). Next year I'm gonna lose weight. Next year I'm gonna write ten books. Next year I'm gonna have a mammogram. Next year things are gonna be better.
In a few hours it will be next year. Then what?
A lot of people spend their lives waiting for the promise of next year. And for some reason next year never arrives. So all those things they've been waiting to do "next year" never get done.
I grew up spending New Year's Eve in church at Watch Night services so the idea of partying on New Year's Eve is foreign to me. A Watch Night service is a prayer service--a service specifically planned where the attendees spend the first hour of the New Year praying for our nation and world leaders. It seems to me that this year they could certainly use a few more prayers.
And here are a few others we might add to the list.
Our families--world peace really ought to begin at home. So many families are struggling right now with a host of issues, both financial and emotional.
Our friends and colleagues--many of them have burdens we only dimly perceive.
Our neighbors--yes, even that fellow on the third floor that slams his door at two a.m. and that woman across the street that never mows her lawn.
The hungry, the poor, the disenfranchised, the abused. Really, there are plenty of people to pray for. I'm only one person, you know. So if you can find it in your heart--whatever your beliefs--take a moment tonight at midnight and say a prayer. Together we can effect a change in our world. Otherwise, the future will look exactly like today.