Celebrating the New Year.

New Year has been celebrated.  It won’t be quite the same this year with hundreds of bushfires burning across Australia. We heard this morning on the news that 10,000 people were to be evacuated from one area due to threat of bushfire.  I have never heard of so many people being displaced in Australia before.

Many, many people have lost all their worldly goods except the clothes on their backs. They are destitute. 

As for New Year resolutions – all they can think of is getting a fence around their property. Rehousing their livestock. Getting a roof over their own heads and trying to pick up the pieces of their devastated lives.

This year, 2019 is the ash year. Instead of Ash Wednesday when bushfire devastated the Mount Lofty Ranges in South Australia a few years ago, we can perhaps call it Ash 2019.  The bush fires began in September this year, or maybe August. They have been burning ever since. Highways are cut, people evacuated, the States of New South Wales and Victoria are a blaze.

A fire ravage ruin

The only resolution people are going to make this year is, ‘How am I going to start again. How am I going to get through this year?’ Resolutions are never kept anyway. No sooner made than they are broken. 

In January 1998, I wrote a New Year article.  Rather, I said, than make a resolution draw up an agenda of things to do. Give consideration to a meaningful lifestyle, give consideration to more than just a good restaurant or eating place, or buying so many clothes, going into debt to buy a house like your richer friends.

There are often two agendas; the visible one and the hidden one. For instance the story concerning the memorial of John Milton, blind writer and poet read: “This bust of the author of Paradise Lost was placed here by Willian Benson Esquire, one of the two Auditors of the Imprest to his Majesty King George the Second, and formerly Surveyor General of Works to his Majesty King George the first.”

William Benson operated on two agendas; one, his desire to commemorate John Milton, who was noble and worthy of praise. Secondly, the hidden agenda of drawing attention to himself and his achievements by using John Milton’s achievements. This act was not at all noteworthy.

A monument to commemorate an early pioneer

There is yet a third agenda which places God at the top.  Supposing God had control of both the agendas of a person’s life? The hidden agenda would be where God has renewed our heart and spirit.  Where he has replaced our natural self with his Son Jesus. Our hidden agenda then is different, it is good. It is not self-seeking, we do not have to work hard adopting noble attitudes that are not us.

The visible agenda reveals the hidden agenda and when God has the hidden agenda in his hands, it will flow to the visible agenda and the true persons in revealed, the resolutions are kept and the good intentions become habits and acts.  The striving is over.

This New Year may look very dark indeed as Australia is drought and fire riddled. It is the third agenda that has God in control that will give us the courage, the hope, the strength, not to make resolutions but draw up agendas by which to recover

A resolution to salvage bottle tops and reuse them became a revolution in recycling,.

Resolutions will no longer become disillusions, they will instead become revolutions.

Happy New Year, Everybody.

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