Christian evangelists long ago perfected the art of making oratory mountains out of scriptural molehills.
What follows is GOF's first tentative step on the road to becoming the world's next Benny Hinn……or maybe even Jimmy Swaggart if I get lucky with my staff and congregation.
I have chosen a text today from the Gospel according to John.
John Laws, that is, self appointed deity of Australian talkback radio.
If at any time you feel the power of divine
extortion annointing, please tithe your salary, or place a generous number of shekels in the collection plate which my henchmen stewards will soon be passing around .
"The world is full of wonder.
One day you will have to leave it for good.
Make sure you absorb all its mysteries and pleasures
while you have the time"
I would like to speak to you today about John's use of the word "all".
Some degree of circumspection needs to be employed when it comes to experiencing what our world offers if we are also to score well in the game of longevity.
There are probably many mysteries and pleasures to be "absorbed" at night in the back streets of Bogota, the favelas of Rio, canyoning in the Alps, or cave diving deep beneath Australia's Nullabor Plain.
Now admittedly I personally have the courage of a newly hatched chicken who is reticent to venture very far from its mother's wing.
For me that "wing" is my instinct of self preservation which tells me not to go base or bungee jumping, parachuting, train surfing, swimming with sharks, or truthfully telling that big tattooed Maori security guard that he is a fat bastard who should lose some weight.
Some things are just not worth the risk.
Recently while decending a particularly steep section of the Mt. Bartle Frere walking track Mrs Gof and I came across a young man, alone, half way up, carrying a mountain bike on his shoulder.
The narrow track is in places almost vertical, and strewn with loose rocks and exposed slippery tree roots. There are deep chasms between boulders where you cannot see the bottom.
He had chosen as a challenge to ride his bike down several kilometers of this trail.
In fading afternoon light. With only one functioning eye.
The other had, at some stage of his young life, obviously been lost in some sort of horrific facial accident. I do not wish to focus particularly on his disability or deny his right to adventure, but anyone attempting this particular project, alone, in a remote area and ignoring basic survival rules will inevitably draw attention to the very thin line between bravery and foolishness.
There were no other people on the mountain that day to help him if he got into trouble.
(I hasten to add that I returned specially on the following day to make sure his car had departed from the mountain base carpark)
Maybe my eagerness to survive life has also denied me some of its other more obscure pleasures.
Injected drug use and autoerotic asphyxia, apparently, can be fun, but the possible side effect of death always put me off those ventures.
No, I don't need to experience all the mysteries and pleasures of life to guarantee my happiness.
Some of them are located far too distant from my protective wing, and neither the destination or the journey involved in getting there appeal to my sense of responsible exploration.
Now if I can just work out what chemicals Benny uses to get all that body and bounce into his silvery mane.