Wednesday, May 9, 2012

What’s on my “bucket list”?

From chapter: Getting a flying start
Excerpt from Leona's book in progress:
Finishing Up with a Flourish

I shouldn’t be satisfied when I reach one of my goals. It is good and right to thank God for an achievement, but not to bask in my successes. I must keep raising the bar and moving forward and upward. It is when I stop moving and pressing on that I become old. That’s when it’s a good idea to consult my “bucket list.” I shouldn’t let that bucket get empty. I should examine what’s been in my bucket and whether I have discarded or neglected some of the contents or whether it has simply leaked out. What’s left in my bucket?
            I was curious about the origin of that term and did some online research. The "bucket list" was the theme of a movie when two terminally ill men set out to do what they wanted to do before they died. It came to mean a list of 100 things or 10 things or however many you might want to accomplish because you feel your own mortality closing the door. Or before you “kick the bucket” which is a slang term that has come to mean to die. In short, it’s a list you have made of what you hope to accomplish or do in your lifetime.
            But where did the bucket aspect come from? One idea traced it to the middle ages when hanging was a common form of capitol punishment. The victim would be taken to an elevated scaffold and have a noose around his neck. He would be standing on an overturned bucket or pail. When the bucket would be kicked out from under him, he would drop, the rope would tighten, and he would be hung.
            In a sense, since a bucket list is a list of goals to achieve or roles in life or places I would like to go, or things I would like to do, I could very well ask myself, “Who put those items in my bucket? Did I? What was my motivation? As a Christian I should ask, “Have I consulted God and His will and purpose and plan for my life? Or am I simply on a self-centered ego trip through life? Are there things that ought not be on my list? Are there valuable things that I have omitted?"
            In rural China it is common to see two heavily loaded buckets being carried by one person. A long pole is put across the shoulders and two buckets in balance are hung on each end of the pole. There is nothing wrong with having personal goals and wishes and desires. On the contrary, it is good and right. One may fill up one bucket with that kind of list. Nevertheless, it should be balanced in the other bucket with a list of God’s priorities and purposes for creating me and calling me to become His child. One bucket may contain temporal desires; the other, eternal values and desires in sync with the will of God.
God isn’t about the business of raining on our parade or taking all the fun out of life. The Scripture says, “God has given us richly all things to enjoy.” God created the world and everything in it for man. In the Psalms we read, “Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.” God is an over-blesser, always generous to give us more abundance than we can ask or think. God’s storehouse of goodness and mercies is overflowing. The bucket list of what He wants to favor His children is a lot weightier and richer and a greater treasure than anything we could think of to put on our bucket list of “to do’s or to be’s.”
I encourage myself to be more concerned with God’s bucket list for my lifetime, however short or long it may be according to His sovereign plan. The question I should ask myself is not, “Have I accomplished all I want to do from my bucket list?” I think I can’t go wrong with continually praying, “Lord, I want Your will to be done in my life on earth as it is in heaven. Go ahead and fulfill your bucket list for my life!”

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