Another Bucket List
Is it just me, or does social media seem like the land of bucket lists?
We all know that we are going to die, but for people my age the reality gets realer with every glance in the mirror. The pressure is on to fulfill our life’s dreams before our bodies run out of steam and our minds run out of marbles. I can, and sometimes do, scroll for hours watching middle-aged people like me checking off one-by-one all the things they’ve always wanted to do and fighting to hang on to things they can never keep.
Do you have a bucket list? I’ll admit, I’m not immune from wanting to be beautiful, fit, highly educated, well-dressed, well-respected, and well-traveled. I want to own a horse, ride English, and take ballet. Yes, ballet. I want to speak three languages, hike foreign trails and visit Florence. I want a well-decorated house and remarkably talented offspring who adore me. I want to be a great artist. I want to be healthy and vigorous into old age and be remembered with admiration long after I’m gone. Who doesn't?
There's nothing inherently sinful in anything on my list, nor is it wrong to take care of yourself and enjoy beautiful things in this life. (It would be sin not to.) But since the Camp Fire in November and the loss of a dear friend to cancer in March, my urges to check off items on my list have been confronted repeatedly by the words of the Apostle Paul: “For me to live is Christ and to die is gain” (Phil. 1.21). And each time I ask myself: Do I really see death as gain?
What do I mean when I say that Christ is my life? Do I really want the kind of life He gave up HIS LIFE to give to me? How does my bucket list stack up against Paul’s? How does yours?
“But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith—that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.” Phil. 3:7-11