GO INTO THE NEW YEAR WITHOUT FEAR
By Ada Brownell
I wonder if people drink on New Year’s Eve because they need to have their senses dulled to face another year going into the unknown. (If it doesn’t dull the senses why is it a crime to drink and drive with a certain blood level of alcohol?)
I’ve never understood people who drink intoxicating beverages. In my first stint as a reporter I rubbed shoulders with some people with brilliant minds, but at one get together of the staff I watched one of these academically sharp individuals change in one afternoon until he acted as if he were mentally challenged. He could barely get a sentence together, mispronounced words, and was wobbly on his feet.
If it tastes anything like it smells on their breath, I don’t think they go after it for the taste. We know many take a drink in the early evening and call it “happy hour.” Others take it to help them “relax.”
One fellow told me he didn’t know how I could have fun without drinking. “I’ve had a lot of fun in my life,” I told him, “And when it was over, I knew I had it.”
I could have added I didn’t have a hangover, either.
Mama was one of those Cary Nation type people and she broke up an illegal still in her youth all by herself. Then she and Dad had to run for her lives.
So it was no wonder I was raised on Solomon’s words, “Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise” (Proverbs 20:2).
In contrast to a drinking any sort of brew, I face the New Year as I’ve always done—asking God to be with me and each one of our family, as well as friends and acquaintances—and taking promises from God’s Word about the future.
For instance, yesterday, Jan. 31, in my daily calendar by author Janette Oke the scripture was, “Now glory be to God, who by his mighty power at work within us is able to do far more than we would ever dare to ask or even dream of –infinitely beyond our highest prayers, desired, thoughts, or hopes” (Ephesians 3:20TLB).
Now taking that scripture and believing it is the way to start a new year.
There are other more wondrous ways to ring one year out and another in. I grew up in a church where people washed one another’s feet and prayed for the person as they worked. We called these services Watch Night Services and in most churches we had singing, rejoicing and testimonies for what God did in the past year. Often we’d break for food and fellowship.
Then as the clock approached midnight, often a wonderful soloist or duet would sing, “His Eye is on the Sparrow.” Then we fell to our knees and thanked God for his previous blessings and asked him to lead, guide and bless our lives another year.
To me, that’s the way to really celebrate on New Year’s Eve.