We watched Sense and Sensibility last night- Bill, Abby, and I. (And Harry. He loves English movies and finds the decorum and the tea times quite refreshing). It's a great way to end the old year with a movie about character, love, commitment, passion, and hope in spite of the odds. One of my favorite movies, in fact.
The movie ended (it was a DVD) at 11:55pm. We turned on the T.V., watched the ball drop in Times Square, said Happy New Year to each other, and then Abby went to her bed. Bill got the phone call we expected, that our son did need a ride home after all, and Bill went to get Alex from the party he was at. When Bill got home, we all finally flopped in bed by 1am. Or at least I thought we all had flopped in bed.
At 2am, I hear a rustle- it's Alex and he's still up. "Get to bed" I whisper, after I got up, went to his room, found the lights on and my son walking around as if it was three in the afternoon.
At 3am, I wake up again. This time it's because Harry is barking- loudly. He never barks at night, but because of the fireworks going off at a neighbors house, he is unsettled and jumpy. I pet him and soothingly whisper, "Go back to sleep".
At around 4am I wake up, AGAIN, to a loud crunching, scratching noise. My dear friend, the visiting hungry mouse, has returned and is eating the corner outside wall of my bedroom. Lovely. I pound the floor, and then hit the wall to scare the mouse. He keeps on eating. Loudly. I go back to sleep.
All the while, each time I wake up, I find my heart is racing. There must have been caffeine in the soda I had last night. That was my celebratory drink I had with the popcorn we ate last night. I feel panicky when my heart races.I lie down and try to calm my nerves, my heart, my mind. Eventually I sleep. For a couple hours.
When I wake to the sound of Bill making coffee, I feel more exhausted than when I first went to sleep. But it's the New Year. I feel excited and relieved that the old year is over. I am resolved that this year is a year of promise,potential, and possibilities. I have determined to start this year with an attitude of expectation, even if I am exhausted.
So when I read just now, in the book of Daniel, about this young man of purpose and conviction, I see some startling secrets for progress and victory that I can grab hold of. In Daniel 1:8 we find that he "purposed" in his heart not to eat the King's delicacies, not to defile himself- for whatever reasons he had.What sticks out at me is the word "purposed". In several other translations, the other words used are: resolved, made up his mind, determined.
Daniel had made a resolution- and it wasn't even New Year's Eve for him. It was a time when he had an opportunity before him, a challenge and eventually a crisis- and this young man began his time in the king's court with a resolution: I will not defile myself.
For us this could mean we will not defile our hopes with looking backward at our failures, or that we will not defile our dignity by speaking negatively and critically to ourself. My biggest resolve, as I start this New Year, is just to see this year as a gift. A year of opportunities. A year of growth, change, challenge, and potential. I've made up my mind that I cannot afford to waste a single day.
So, tired as I am, I feel invigorated at the chance to step into a New Year. "New" anything always gets me stirred up. A new day, a clean slate, a new book to read, a fresh pillowcase to sleep on smelling like lavender and vanilla, or a new puppy (what I'm thinking about getting!)- these are all wonderful gifts from a God who makes all things NEW (Rev. 21:5).This word "new" in Greek refers to freshness, not so much age.
That's what I want, this year. A fresh outlook- especially about myself. After all, God is at work in my life, in me, and I have got to perceive this. I've got to- if I want to step out, and rise up, and run and not be weary.
So here I am, on this first day of the New Year. I am focusing in on the "S" in my Banner of RISK. I am going to "see" things I have never seen before, mainly because I am going to have eyes to see. I have resolved to see God at work, really see Him like I never have before.
I can almost hear Him saying to me, "Well, I'm glad you are finally on board."