I was too busy throwing up my peppermint fudge brownie sundae (and whatever else I had eaten ever in my life) to make new year’s resolutions last week. But that’s OK. I’d be breaking them by now anyway.
A couple of years ago I made some resolutions for failure in the new year—which worked out pretty well, actually. But the failures will happen whether I make resolutions about them or not.
I guess this just isn’t my year for new year’s resolutions. I mean, not resolutions for myself. But I have been thinking about resolutions for other people. Specifically about resolutions that could have been helpful for certain biblical characters. Imagine if these folks had just scrawled a little note to themselves on January 1, maybe stuck it by the oil lamp on their nightstand for inspiration in the coming year:
- Eve—Don’t talk to strangers.
- Sarah—Wear my wedding ring, especially when talking to kings.
- Jacob—Light the oil lamp before consummating the marriage.
- Joseph—Tell my dreams to my therapist, not my brothers.
- Moses—Practice power poses. Work on stutter.
- Balaam’s Donkey—Keep my big mouth shut.
- Samson—Grow my hair out.
- Absalom—Cut my hair.
- Elisha—Get hair plugs. Or a toupee. Also anger management classes.
- Rahab—Make foreign spies use the back door.
- Hosea—Buy Naming Babies for Dummies.
- Peter—Think before I speak. Think before I act. Stop with the compulsive lying. . . . Get a new therapist.
- Martha—Sign Mary up for cooking classes.
- Mary—Sign Martha up for a spa day.
- Eutychus—Drink more coffee.
- Jesus—Avoid Jerusalem during the holidays.
If these biblical folks had made a few simple new year’s resolutions, the stories we teach and preach might quite different. But, of course, we have the stories we have. And we get to spend another year dwelling in their mystery and wonder.
If you haven’t made any new year’s resolutions, rest assured that you’re in good, holy company.
If you have made new year’s resolutions: YOU’VE GOT THIS! GO YOU!
And whether you’ve made resolutions or not, I pray for you a joy-filled, justice-living, Jesus-following 2018.
Rev. Joanna Harader serves as pastor of Peace Mennonite Church in Lawrence, KS. She is grateful that those fine folks have not resolved to get a new pastor this year–despite her sometimes baffling and obscure biblical references. She blogs at SpaciousFaith.com.
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