Throw Out the Bucket List

bucket-listA few things I said this past Sunday, reflecting on Romans 8:18-25, the Christmas pronouncement of “good news of great joy” and the sure hope of all things being made new – partly now, fully then…

This is not all that there is.  We are embodied souls.  We live in a world of angels and demons.  So there is the spiritual.  And there is the eternal.  Life does not stop at the grave.  There is the grace of heaven or the justice of hell.  There is a depth to life.  And it goes on forever.

Despite what we may see, this is not all that there is.  And this is not how things will be.  Things have not always been this way.  From the start, creation was said by God to be good.  Things have not always been this way.  And things will not forever be this way.  Think of all the “re” words in the Bible – reconciliation, redemption, regeneration, restoration, resurrection. 

What does this mean?  The best of this life is but a glimmer of a foretaste.  The best is yet to come.  The Prince of Peace has come to renew His creation.  Which is to say we need to throw out the bucket list.

Here’s what I mean.  The bucket list assumes you only go around once.  You only have one chance to visit New Zealand, one shot to see New England in the fall, one opportunity to learn that new skill.  “If I can’t live my dream now, I never will.”  We need to check that dream.

The Christian doesn’t go around once.  The Christian goes around twice – once now and then forever.  And that forever is in a world as it was supposed to be.  So there’s no need for the bucket list.  It’s unnecessary.  And, frankly, it tends to be selfish, fixed on ourselves.  The Prince of Peace has come to renew His creation.  Which means we need to throw out the bucket list.

So that’s what I said last Sunday.  Here’s a bit more to chew on.  Besides a truncated view of reality present and future, where does this come from?  One could reasonably argue that it can begin with the desire to live life to the fullest and die with no regrets.  Which, in and of itself, can be a good desire.  But it all depends on that perspective.  Why are we here?  For whom and what are we to be living?  How does this desire to do “x” (fill in the blank) fit with the coming of the kingdom?

Just some ideas worth mulling over.

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