Feature Here comes the usual 31st December night…

But does it have a lasting impact on people’s lives or is it just to keep up with a status quo?

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There is always a point in life where one would have to move from a certain position to the other. With life being a journey, the ‘traveller’ chalks successes, encounters challenges and makes mistakes before getting to his destination.

So it starts from January 1 to December 31 and whew… another year is born. As part of ways to embrace the New Year, all night services are organised by churches, some of which are held in stadia, classrooms, auditoriums, parks and church buildings. The service is used, among other things, as a spiritual grounding for a new life in the next year.

But does it have a lasting impact on people’s lives or is it just to keep up with a status quo?

Interestingly, 31st is the only church appearance for some individuals in the whole year while it is the second for others who were in church on the first Sunday of that year. It also serves as a platform where people spiritually solidify their resolutions and ask God for strength to fulfil those resolutions, though some may be outrageous.

Of course, some pastors make ‘spiritual interpretations’ into the figures and prophesy into the lives of the ‘congregants’. The night will obviously not end without the Word being preached and souls won.

Amidst the prophecies, prayers of all kinds are said to God. From thanking God for His protection throughout the year, to asking for forgiveness of sins and subsequent cleansing with the Blood, the church asks God to intercede for others and the country. Warfare prayers are not left out as the church prays to break any shackle of the enemy. And like the wall of Jericho was destroyed through song ministrations, the crowd dance their hearts out and shake the devil off.

On that night, the church records the highest turn out for the year, with funds being raised and offertory increasing.

Hurray! Here comes the New Year. A year which seems promising after all that happened last night. Oh, yes! It’s time to start life on a fresh page. While messages received in the old year are deleted from phones, new ones are sent wishing fellows a prosperous year.

“So can we Cross Over, Pass Over, Jump Over and Walk Over the lives we promised not to live again on 31st December to a more dignified life?”, was the question I asked my bosom friend right after waking up the next day. While Benjamin sounded confident and more determined, I knew deep within me that soul is willing but the body is weak. How do I tell Dzifa, Karima, Naa and Asantewaa that “It’s over between us” knowing that it’s such a great feeling having a bite of them? [No plans to marry any though. I’m just having fun]. Will that mean I have to stop listening to those secular music which I enjoy most? Wow!

Then I heard my phone ring and without picking the phone to answer, I knew who it was because of the ringtone assigned. Dzifa wanted us to go out and have fun. Knowing how curvaceous she is, I knew my first temptation had come. I failed to resist the ‘devil’ so it also didn’t flee from me. I failed the test: not once, not twice…

I became addicted to pornography more than ever as I sought for which new styles and positions to apply in my subsequent encounters. Besides, more ‘targets’ to hit and all these were before the Valentine’s Day.

The politician I saw at the 31st night service, the police personnel, pastor, lecturer, judge and the radio presenter had all been compromised just like the previous year. The nurse, bus conductor and the receptionist who were all present on the night still had no respect for anybody. The employer and his employee still muddied in the act of cheating. The tailor, mason and that innocent fellow were engulfed in theft. Treachery, fraud, gossip, haughty eyes, false witness, lies, abortion, neglect, pettiness among others had characterised the multitudes who were present on the night. Hmmm…. Life and living it!

Benjamin, my colleague, started quite well but slacked midway. He was committed to living a righteous life in the early days. Along the line, he became a hypocrite [neither cold nor hot] and later joined the bandwagon. Alas! We were back to our old ways.

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