Just 4 nights ago, the entire world did one of two things: either stayed up past their bedtime in order to be a part of ushering in a new year or went to bed as usual without giving the annual event a second thought. Since we are in the central time zone my husband and I participated in the Times Square event via the large idol that is secured above the fireplace. He went on to bed immediately afterwards while I stayed up and flipped to other channels to see more of the festivities around the world. After so many years of going around this mountain one would think we’d get tired of it — but the fireworks and the nostalgia never get old to me — at least not yet.
Yet there is something deeper connected to moving us from that 10 second count down out of the old and into the new –something that drives all of us — like shedding a snake skin, or becoming the butterfly that oozes out of its cocoon. It’s that thing deep within us that causes us to move ahead and launches us into the unknown, that is, if we posses it. It’s called HOPE. With it we can move mountains — and without it we die in the cocoon. We don’t even have faith without it, we can’t love without it, and we can’t really live without it.
I think that one of the reasons that the faith and prosperity movement in modern day Christianity took off like the New Year’s Eve fireworks is that the teachers dangled something tangible in front of their congregations, yet over the years, those tangibles, if not attained, gave way to a loss of faith and more over, a loss of hope. I believe many of them failed to give us the truth about faith, that it is not the tangibles that we are to have faith for, rather the substance of life — “Now faith is the SUBSTANCE of things HOPED for, the evidence of things not seen.” It’s not hoping for things we see, it’s hoping for things we can’t see — character and integrity, good relationships built out of love and not insecurity and neediness, communicating without hatred and anger, wisdom to make right choices, peace of mind rather than confusion, the experience of joy rather than sadness, and most of all the real experience of acceptance by others — validation that we are valuable. I believe it is the hope that lives in the depths of our hearts that prods us to want to be whole, and if that dream is not realized we begin to lose hope. We are born whole and our sub-conscience needs us to be whole to connect with the rest of mankind.
So when the 12 month cycle comes to it’s end, we tend to want to evaluate our lives in every realm even if we don’t realize we are doing it. When we have hope, because our faith has given us reason to hope, we move forward with expectation. When we have faith in the wrong things, in time, that faith gives way and we lose all hope. The fireworks cease to exist, the vision of a better day has vanished, and we go to bed early — not giving it a second thought.
Hope, that invisible something that keeps us alive, has the power to effect nations. It is my hope that in 2012 the men and women who have that power readily available to them (because they have seen the results of it) will rise up and join forces to bring about real cultural change in America — not through laws of do’s and don’t’s but through real heart change where no law is necessary because no one harms another. It is my hope because I have seen it before — so I can envision it again. Welcome 2012! Hope is on the way.