People have desires. They want what they can’t have, or there’s been no opportunity to follow their dreams. Daily life interferes.
According to Irish myth, if you catch a leprechaun, he’ll regain his freedom by granting you three wishes. This universal yearning to make wishes come true is what made The Bucket List, a 2007 movie, so popular. The plot in a nutshell: two terminally ill old men (Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman) take a road trip and try to accomplish all the things they’ve always wanted to do before they “kick the bucket.”
By my definition, a bucket list contains actions and events that men and women passionately want to experience before they die. Human desires range from serious items like Nicholson’s “help a complete stranger for the good,” to adventures of world travel, to the silly: Freeman’s “laugh until I cry.”
A local radio show recently broadcast a discussion between the hostess and guests as to what was on their bucket lists. One wanted to wanted to own a potbellied pig; another wanted to travel to Holland (Michigan) during tulip season. Personally, I’ve seen Holland (Europe) in tulip season and can’t imagine the scenery is even more beautiful in the state to my north, but…maybe I should add that to my bucket list.
Oh. My bucket list? I don’t have one. It’s not that I’m a person who can say “been there, done that” for every human experience and desire under the sun. There are things I’d like to do, places I’d like to explore, but I haven’t made a list. Nothing’s been important enough. Maybe I’ve learned to be content in every situation (Philippians 4:11).
So I’ve been asking myself a philosophical question. Am I a boring stick-in-the-mud because I don’t feel passionate enough to name any experience to a bucket list, or are bucket lists a reflection of our self-absorbed society? I guess the definitive answer is, “it depends.”
In the film, Nicholson’s final item to be checked off is, “witness something truly majestic,” which by Hollywood’s interpretation, is to view the world from the top of a mountain in the Himalayas. Not bad. The heart of every man leaps into worship when gazing upon God’s magnificent creation (Romans 1:19-20), but the only item I would place on my bucket list goes beyond the awe-inspiring panorama of the highest mountains on earth. I, too, want to “witness something truly majestic,” but I can’t cross it off my list until after I die.
I want to see Jesus in all His glory, an experience that my frail, human frame cannot endure. I’ll have to wait until I arrive in heaven.
In the meantime, I will live here quietly, content to do whatever pleases Him. I will praise Him. Magnificent Creator. My personal Savior. My Lord.