He actually stayed awake quite well. Lisa was pretty droopy-eyed at that point. I was hanging on, but just barely -- fed by caffeine-infused cold medicines.
The ball was colorful this year as Dick Clark counted down the last 20 seconds before "2008" emblazoned the Manhattan skyline.
It was Evan's first time to see the ball drop on New Year's Eve. Apparently, after hearing all of the hype about it, he expected something more dramatic. I think he envisioned a giant ball being pushed off the top of a skyscraper by a hundred strong men, plummeting wildly to the ground, crashing and shattering amongst the revelers just at the stroke of midnight.
"What a rip-off!" was all he could say as he headed back to his bedroom. "That was a rip-off!"
I remember having similar thoughts the first time I saw the ball drop. I was about the same age as Evan and, while we did indeed have color television at that point, I, like Evan, was surprised to learn that the ball rides down well-controlled on a pole rather than really "drops".
There's something about hearing the word "drop" that leaves you expecting more.
But 2008 is here. And everywhere I turn, it seems like 2007 is being remembered as a year of random acts ... not of kindness unfortunately but of violence. Even the local "top 10 stories of 2007" were littered with violent acts.
Can we do better in 2008? Can we let 2007 really "drop," perhaps even forgetting about the shattered pieces and just moving forward ... forward for mankind, forward for Jesus? Forward for the impoverished in our country. Forward for those who are seeking justice of all kinds including one of my best friends who has a trial the end of this month. Forward for those seeking to establish control in areas where a lack of control seems to have prevailed for generations. Forward for those who feel like they have no control. Forward for those who are starving. Forward for those who are being tortured. Forward ...
Let's hope that 2008 is a year of "forward". Let's hope that random acts of violence drop by the wayside. Let's hope that, this time next year, "What a rip-off!" is a distant memory and instead we're saying "Much was accomplished in 2008 but much work is still ahead of us. Let us move forward into it as well."
Happy New Year. May it indeed be a step forward.