I saw a book at the airport with an interesting title, so I bought it. It was titled What If God Wrote Your Bucket List?, by Jay Payleitner.
The basis of the book is if God wrote your bucket list, it would not include things like swimming with sharks, skydiving, or kayaking the Colorado River (one of mine). But what it WOULD include would be, as Payleitner put it, “fewer things to do and more things to embrace. Things to appreciate. To choose. And sometimes let go.”
I always learn something when it’s either a new idea or an old idea presented in a different way. So far, my biggest take-away came in the first chapter. Payleitner wrote about setting goals. Nothing new here, but again, when presented with a spin, it becomes fresh once more. He wrote, “…your goals for your life are not nearly as important as God’s goals for your life. In other words, please don’t be surprised if all your careful planning and goal setting gets set aside by the master planner himself.” That’s exactly what happens. God’s plan for us is bigger than we are.
This motivated me to put together some bucket list items for my life that are bigger than I am. I still need to refine them somewhat and think about how I will fulfill them… maybe even set in some time frames, but this is a list I will print out and refer to on a weekly basis so I can see my progress and where I need to focus. I’ll likely add to it as well. Lots of self-reflection went into this while on a work trip, alone and out of the country. There’s no better time for concentrated thought and prayer than when temporarily away from life’s many distractions. In a country where all of my first-world problems are minuscule, my mind is very clear. In no particular order, here it is:
Take time to retreat
- Withdraw to focus on my mission, purpose
- Surrender my time in order to surrender my life
Leave a lasting legacy for those I love and respect
- Who will I be remembered as?
- What will they remember me for? (got this from the book)
Make an impact on others
- Through the Lord – share what I know, grow God’s Kingdom
- Increase faith – theirs and mine
- Be an example – a better example of a leader/human/Christ-follower
Develop a stronger prayer life
- Communicate better – prayer is 2-way
- Build a better relationship with the Trinity (all 3 – Father, Son, Spirit)
Quality time with those I love
- This is some of the most important time spent
- Put the focus on them
Make where I am my mission field
- Be continual and faithful
- Be present and focused
- Be service-minded
Be unconditionally uncomfortable
- Take chances through faith – with those I love, acquaintances, and strangers
- Let the waves of life swell and ride them!
- Take a stand – being faithful to the Lord is not easy or popular
Study sources of inspiration, motivation, and Spirit-filled wisdom
- More Bible time
- Books, videos, and other sources
Put what I learn and live into words
- Write, blog, share to inspire
Show gratitude. Share Gratitude.
- Be thankful for those who are blessings in my life – let them know
- Be grateful to God for entrusting me with the things I am blessed with
And there you have it.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I still have a bucket list that includes milestones and fun things I want to accomplish. But after writing this list, those things seem trivial. No, a better word is fleeting. Those things come and go but do not necessarily make me the person I want to be – the person I was made to be. This list keeps me honest with God’s goals for my life. I’ve skydived, been to Europe, and rode a bike down a volcano. Though, I would like to milk a cow and have a book published.
What about you? What would your bucket list look like if you penned it with God’s goals for your life in mind?