Here are my New Year's Resolutions. I intend to keep each one of them.
I will not accept, if asked, an appointment as pastor of a church of more than 5000 members.
I will not run a marathon.
I will not tell my children my grandchildren are smarter than they.
I will preach less than one hour every sermon and more than three minutes.
I will not say to some find-a-reason-to-predict-the-end-time folks “I told you so,” at fifty-nine minutes after eleven on December 31st.
I will stop for several minutes every day to feel and listen to life all about me.
I will refrain from playing competitive soccer again.
When attending any high school reunion activities I will act my age.
I will see beauty in the ugliest people I encounter.
When visiting other churches while on vacation, I will not shake my head from side to side during the pastor's sermon just to confuse him or her.
I will not accept an invitation to sing with the Gaither Choir.
I will refrain from volunteering any information my bishop has not asked for.
For every theological or church book I read I will read one suspense mystery novel.
I will remember to say thank you.
When I get another letter from someone complaining that I used the word “Hell” in the pulpit, I will not write that person back, like I did this year, saying, “You can be damn sure it won't happen again.”
I will take a grandchild with me to pick out my next cell phone.
When being unjustly criticized I will remember how many years I have lived and just smile.
I will do everything possible to defy the actuary table.
When a poor homeless person says, “Parson, can I talk to you?” I not only will say “Sure” but I will also listen.
I will never say to a grieving person, “I know how you feel.”
When confronted by a theological position different than mine, I will not stick my fingers in my ears and run in circles while chanting, “Na, Na, Na, Na ….”
When in conversation with fundamentalist jerks I will remember I am a liberal jerk.
I will not become a televangelist.
I will climb no mountain whose ascent requires an oxygen mask.
Once a week, like Br'er Rabbit, I will go to my secret laughing place.
When perplexed at life I will ask a child for advice.
Despite my doubts, my reservations, my confusion, I will remember, always, I am a follower of my best understanding of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and I will act that way.
I will not take myself too seriously because I know there are a lot of others who do not.
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