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This year I promise to …

Welcome to 2024! I hope you like it so far. I don’t know about you, but I haven’t been sick or had an accident or stubbed my toe or had a papercut all year!


’Tis the season of making New Year’s resolutions, and I wonder if that’s something you like to do each year. I’m not particularly keen on the custom, most likely because in the past, I’d make them on 1 January and break them on 2 January!


I was thinking, however, of what some biblical figures might do with New Year’s resolutions.


Noah: This year I promise to buy and use a tape measure that’s marked with cubits. It took me so long to keep converting metres to cubits in my head that by the time I’d actually built the ark, I didn’t have two rabbits, I had 64!


Thomas: This year I will accept everything confidently without questioning anything. No more ‘doubting Thomas’; this year it’s ‘affirming Thomas’. I think. Does that sound right? Should it be ‘affirmative Thomas’? Hmm, affirming is the present participle of affirm; affirmative is the adjectival form. Well, now I’m just not sure.


Solomon: This year I will bulk buy Panadol. My headaches! They’re constant and debilitating. When I asked God for wisdom, I didn’t realise I’d constantly overthink everything. I can’t turn it off! At night I just lay there and think. What a very unwise choice.


John the Baptist: This year I promise not to get so excitable all the time. Maybe it’s because I’m constantly walking in a river and stepping on rocks, or maybe it’s because I eat locusts, but I just can’t seem to stand still. This year, I promise, I won’t lose my head over anything.


Moses: This year I’ll buy a GPS. Forty years of wandering and I still didn’t arrive at my destination! There has to be a better way. Mind you, do I really want to listen to a GPS all the time? ‘In 200 kilometres you’ll take the first left at Elim. In 190 kilometres you’ll take the first left at Elim. In 180 kilometres you’ll take the first left at Elim. In 170 kilometres you’ll …’


Peter: This year I promise to stay out of jail. And not get chased out of town. Or get flogged, beaten up, stoned, robbed, shipwrecked or just generally yelled at and abused. Then again, for the sake of spreading the gospel, it’s worth it. Bring it on! Really, what are they going to do, hang me upside down?


Samson: This year I’m going to get a haircut. And stop looking at pretty girls. And stop fighting. And stop killing lions. And stop slaying armies. And if I mess up on any of these promises, may God strike me blind.


Stephen: This year is the year I kick my drug habit. No more for me. I’m done, I promise. Enough of the high life. I’ve stared at the sky and seen enough visions, I need to get my head clear. This year, no more getting stoned.


God: This year. Whoa! Gone already. Okay, this year … nope, missed it. This year I promise … no, there goes another one. How about … now: thisyearIpromiseto… nope, missed it. These year thingies seem to fly by so fast. Sometimes it’s no fun being eternal.


– Major Mal Davies and his wife Major Tracey are the Corps Officers at Adelaide City Salvos



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