I sat in a coffee shop yesterday and heard someone at the table next to me tell their friend all about the travel destinations filling up their bucket list. These places were exotic and glamorous and I could hear their friend say, “Me too! I have to start traveling more. I have to start crossing things off my bucket list.”
There was a sound of near desperation in her voice.
A sound that was akin to longing, frustration, desire and the need to impress, all rolled into one tone.
“I need to travel and cross these places off of my bucket list.”
I don’t know why, but that phrase, “bucket list” has never been a favorite of mine.
It’s not because I don’t have places I want to visit and feats I want to accomplish. Trust me, I’m up to my ears in those.
And it’s not because I’m afraid I wouldn’t complete all of the items on the list.
Here’s why I’m not a fan of “bucket lists.” They’re just that. They’re lists.
Empty, lifeless, black words written on stark white paper. A list of letters put in an order that are somehow meant to direct our lives. I could make a list of a lot of things. A list of countries in the world, races to be run, experiences to have, and places to see. But it would still just be a list.
I have decided I don’t want to just make a list of maybe-I’ll-do-this-one-day items.
I want to set goals and make plans.
I want to say, "yes" and take action.
I want to do stuff and go places.
I know a lot of people who successfully complete amazing feats from their bucket lists. But it’s not because they just wrote it down. It’s because they set a goal and created a plan to complete them.
This year, let’s not waste moments only writing down lifeless lists.
Instead, lets intentionally and artistically grab our tools and paint our year in bright hues, vibrant memories, colorful adventures, textured relationships and magical experiences.
And as we paint those bold strokes, let us be painting a picture that is grander than ourselves. I would hate to step back from that painting at the end of this year and see only my face on the canvas.
Rather, I hope my bright, vibrant, colorful goals and plans reflect the beauty, goodness, adventure, and purposes of my Heavenly Father. If I can see His redemptive purposes, His glory, and His Gospel advanced in the strokes on my canvas, then I will know it has been a beautiful year.
Let’s not be only a “bucket list” generation.
Let’s be a doing, and loving, and action, and adventure, and dirty hands, and sparkling eyes, and Gospel focused generation.
Let’s set goals and make plans to explore the beauty of the world God has made, to enjoy the gift of life He has given us, to experience the joy of relationships with the people around us, and to further the movement of Jesus Christ in our generation.