Itís the end of the calendar year. Memories of the year come crowding in. What has happened in my life during the past twelve months? I see failures, triumphs, heartache and joy.
I see many events I had no control over. Storms, fires, economic fluctuations, violence.
I want my life to be better in the future. Deep down, I want control. To be honest, there are many places I can do better, through discipline, work, and obedience. There are others that are out of my influence.
Over all events, control belongs to God the Father.
As a believer I have the presence of the Holy Spirit to guide me. (John 14:26)
He has promised to lead me into righteousness.
ďAnd your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, ďThis is the way, walk in it,Ē when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left.Ē Isaiah 30:21 ESV
God doesnít miss any of the events of my life. He sees every one.
ďAnd we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.ď Romans 8:28 ESV
He has promised that he has my best interest in mind. ďFor I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.Ē Jeremiah 29:11 ESV
Itís our inclination to be in control. For centuries, people have devised plans to rule events. Below youíll find a few of them.
- Most of us have experience with this one. We may not have known the supposed reason for a kiss on New Yearís Eve. It is said if you donít get kissed at midnight, you will be unlucky in love for the following year.
- It is a tradition in some countries to wear red underwear on New Yearís Eve in hopes of being lucky in love.
- It is a Filipino superstition to scatter coins all over and around the house to assure money in the coming year. Then, on New Yearís Day, donít spend your money.
- In China, it is tradition that all knives of the house are to be hidden for 24 hours, so that no one will be hurt and to keep family fortune undisturbed.
- Donít enter the New Year with empty cupboards or youíll have a year of scarcity.
- Donít remove things from the house, such as trash or donations, between New Yearís Eve and January 2, or youíll lose things during the coming year.
- Donít sweep your house or youíll sweep-away your good fortune for the next year.
- Donít pay back loans on this holiday or youíll spend the year paying. Keep money in your wallet for good luck with you finances.
- Eat black-eyed peas.
- In Greece, eat Vasilopita.
- In Italy, eat pork sausage over lentils.
- Southern United States eat cornbread and/or cabbage.
- Eat twelve grapes on New Yearís Eveóone for happiness in each coming month. In Spain, they must be eaten during the chiming of the twelve bells of midnightóchewed and swallowed before the ringing stops.
- In Switzerland, itís a tradition to eat whipped cream and deliberately spill some on the floor to guarantee abundance in the New Year. The longer it stays on the floor, the better.
- The first person to cross the threshold on New Yearís Day should be a dark male, and he should bring with him symbolic pieces of coal, shortbread, salt, black bun and a bit of whisky. (You have to invite him in.)
- Open all the doors just before midnight to let the old year out and the New Year in.
- Similarly, open all the windows to let out last yearís bad luck.
- No crying or youíre looking at a year of distress.
- Fireworks and noisemakers on New Yearís Eve will scare away evil spirits.
- In Brazil, to fulfill your wishes, wear white, jump seven waves, and throw flowers into the sea.
- Donít do laundry or someone will die in the coming year. (As in washing them out of your life.)
The Good News
These may be fun traditions, but none have the power to change the future. Only God is in charge of that. To my great relief, the Lord has promised to guide my steps. He has promised abundant life through Jesus Christ. He has promised to never leave me. The most effective thing I can do on New Yearís Eve and every day is to know Godís Son and to put my fate in his hands.