Since the movie The Bucket List released in December 2007, bucket list items have become a part of our culture. This year I checked a few off my list while in the Arctic North of Canada. I saw the Northern Lights – Brilliant! I rode a snow mobile on a frozen lake followed by dog sledding on another frozen lake. These are memories I will cherish for sure!
I have had a life full of rich experiences – deep sea fishing, pulling in 100 pound catches, sailing in the gulf of Mexico, climbing mountains, hiking in the woods, and studying in Oxford to name a few. These experiences are not just things I‘ve done, they are now part of who I am.
Yet these moments of wonder, of experiencing something new, of feeling so alive do not compare to moments when I’ve felt the presence of Almighty God. Praying for someone to be healed and seeing them rise from their infirmity to wholeness; comforting a person as they let go of this life and transition to the nearer presence of Christ; leading someone in prayer as they become a new creature in Christ by faith; these are sacred moments. All the other things I have done pale in comparison.
Years ago a wise and saintly woman told me that the biblical meaning of prosperity is to have a good journey. It is rooted in the Bedouin lifestyle in the ancient middle east. Travel was dangerous and to have a good journey, safe from bandits or calamity, was to be prosperous.
If my life ended today I could proclaim with joy the amazing journey I have had, things I have done, but more so who I have loved and who has loved me. This is the bucket list I want to complete. How about you?
Bucket List tasks, plainly put, are goals. I think it is admirable and essential to have goals in life, without them life can be an aimless journey. There is nothing wrong with wanting to do certain things and have experiences. The challenge is to have a list of things that have eternal merit. I have a lot of degrees and accomplishments hanging on the wall in my office and I do not regret the moments or work and effort those things represent. There is a call everyday to invest in things of eternal value. As the Apostle Paul would remind us, the positions, wealth, and degrees I might acquire do not compare to loving God and loving others (Philippians 3). My life’s aspiration, my bucket list item that counts is…
Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 3:12–14 ESV)