What is really so special about it? Every day, the clock strikes twelve and then again at midnight – year in, year out. This is no different than when it strikes five o’clock or eight o’clock or ten o’clock. Certainly it is nothing else than indication of the fact that the clock hand advanced again one hour.
But time is advancing! Don’t you realize how mysterious this actually is?
No power in the world can stop it. One can switch off the clockwork, but then only the hands stand still and the time nevertheless runs hurriedly further, always at the same pace.
If it only continued for itself, that would not be bad, but we must all keep up with it. We must! There is no hesitation and no lingering. We are urged, chased, driven forward, whether we want it or not. Onward, onward! How eerie is the quiet ticking of the clock in our room, whose steady beat constantly shortens our life! Usually, we do not even think about these things. We have “so many more important things” to think about.
But once in a while, at least, we listen eagerly for the twelve o’clock strike.
When the old year fades away and the bell towers begin to thud: one, two, three, four…until the twelfth stroke has sounded – that somehow touches almost everyone’s heart. One does not need to be sentimental at all. Even if one celebrates the turn of the year in a noisy, high-spirited mood in a circle of boisterous people, this is also a sign that this twelve o’clock stroke is significant. Another milestone has been crossed on that ceaseless trek!
How many more will you still pass?
Who knows! Many things would be easier and simpler if, at the transition from the old to the new year, the fog would break for a few moments, and we would be allowed to see how far the path still stretches. Then one could be prepared for it. But the fog is too thick. We only hear the twelve o’clock strike, and already it’s time to go on, go on! Maybe we’ll pass a lot of mile markers – but then again, maybe there won’t be any.
However, if you don’t know how long your journey will last, do you at least know where it’s going? When twelve o’clock strikes on New Year’s Eve, when every person is asked by God Himself by this special, haunting alarm signal of the disappearing time:
Where are you going?
No one should say they don’t know. One must know that! It is irresponsible carelessness not to care about the destination of life’s journey. If you really do not know, let me tell you:
You are inescapably heading for the Day of Judgment.
What if that day comes during this coming year? Would you be ready for it? Is your accounting accurate? What have you gained from the past year? Can you look back on it with satisfaction? Only satisfied? Is there nothing there that would make you complain, fear, or be troubled if a sudden review were done?
Recently, I had to cross over the border. Although I had a hundred percent good conscience, there was again that strange tension in me, which attacks me every time one has to go through the border control. But what is this earthly-superficial control compared to the gaze of God’s flaming eyes that search every corner, the most hidden detail of our lives? Every crossing of the threshold from one year to the next reminds us very urgently: Put your affairs in order between you and your God while you still have the possibility to do so, before you reach the last crossing point where there is no turning back! – How can you put things in order?
You can’t, but Jesus Christ can.
He is not called “the Savior” in the Bible for nothing. “Savior” is the One who can heal what is broken and sick. He is the One God gave us especially to take courage from when we are afraid of crossing over to the other side. All the many things that we simply cannot cope with ourselves, our failures, our shortcomings, our defeats – briefly speaking, everything – that makes up the guilt of a year we may lay down before Him.
Don’t you want to do that when it strikes twelve o’clock on New Year’s Eve, or much earlier – preferably right now?
Thank Him that you have been able to walk through the year until the end!
Confess to Him – and where necessary to people as well – everything that has not been right in it, and believe in His forgiveness!
Ask Him to accompany you also in the new year, to always give you the victory, and to help you through to the goal!